There is no age category that is safe from dental problems. From the eruption of the first baby tooth, through to retirement, here are the most frequent dental conditions encountered by children, adults and seniors.
Babies and children
- Baby bottle tooth decay and cavities
Decay occurs due to sugar in various drinks such as milk, fresh juice, or sweetened tea that remain on the teeth for long periods of time. It is important that babies and small children do not fall asleep with the bottle in their mouth, or use it as a pacifier, and as soon as they finish eating, we must make sure that they have swallowed all the liquid.
- Crooked teeth because of thumb-sucking
Most babies suck their thumbs or fingers. It’s a habit that hopefully ends by the time they turn five and their first permanent teeth start to erupt. Otherwise, the pressure exerted by the tongue or finger can lead to deformation of the teeth, and from here problems can arise regarding the bite or even the correct development of speech.
- Tooth decay
Tooth decay occurs when acid is produced from plaque which builds up on our teeth. Many people tend to think that plaque is only an aesthetic problem, but in fact, if the process advances, it can lead to further concerns such as cavities, gum disease or dental abscesses.
- Gum line cavities
Cavities that appear under the gums are harder to detect than those formed on the enamel of the teeth and have a faster evolution. The main causes are improper brushing, aggressive brushing, or the use of a toothbrush with very rough bristles. Sometimes cavities occur due to poor nutrition.
- Gum disease
Risk factors of gum disease include vitamin C deficiency, smoking, hormonal disorders or certain drug treatments. Bleeding gums and redness of the gums are the first signs and it is recommended to go to the dentist as soon as possible. If left untreated, it could lead to tooth loss. Basic prevention of gum disease is thorough, consistent oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups.
- Tooth sensitivity
As far as tooth sensitivity is concerned, we are not talking about a disease itself, but rather a problem that can have multiple causes and just as many treatments. The only one in a position to make a diagnosis and offer solutions is the dentist, following a check-up and specific tests.
- Bad breath (halitosis)
Many associate bad breaths with digestive problems, but more often than not, the cause is poor oral hygiene. Food debris and bacteria from the oral cavity that remain between the teeth or in the gum groove need to be removed by constant and correct brushing. It is also important to brush not only the teeth, but also the tongue. Professional cleaning sessions in the dentist’s office are just as important, as hygienists can reach areas that are commonly missed at home.
- Tooth loss
We may tend to think this mostly happens to seniors, but, in fact, some people start losing their teeth in their forties. Lifestyle, diet, general health, and oral hygiene are factors that increase the risk of tooth loss. Luckily, we have access to solutions such as dental implants for replacing missing teeth, but prevention continues to be the best route when it comes to oral health.
- Gum recession and periodontal disease
The chance of developing periodontal disease and gum recession increases as we age. Oral hygiene is again the main method of prevention, but it is not always sufficient. Untreated gum problems, reduced salivary gland function, and hormonal imbalances are some of the factors that contribute to the appearance of gingivitis and periodontitis.
Regular dental check-ups are necessary from childhood in order to thrive with healthy teeth and not struggle with pain, surgeries, or prosthesis.