Teenagers and young adults are still growing and developing, which means that they still have some of the same dental problems as children, but they also have some specific issues of their own. It is important that they receive regular care and checkups from their dentists or orthodontic specialists, depending on what kind of problems they have. Here is a list of some of the most common dental problems found in teens and young adults:
This problem is characterized by a loss of tooth enamel due to acidic food and drinks, usually without the person realizing it. Teeth can become sensitive and painful as a result of erosion. This is treated by using sealants, brushing more frequently with a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, or by switching to an enamel-protecting toothpaste.
The most common problem found in orthodontics is overcrowding of the teeth. This occurs when there are too many teeth for the size of the jawbone and mouth. The most common of these cases is called “buck teeth,” where the upper front teeth come out of the mouth too far.
Crowding can be treated with braces to move teeth into their correct position. If you are concerned about crowded teeth, make an appointment with your Bloomfield Hills dentist as soon as possible.
Drinks such as cola are very acidic, which can erode tooth enamel. Chocolate also contains acids that feed the bacteria in your mouth. If you cannot stop eating these types of food, at least make sure you brush right after. Cavities are treated with fillings in most cases, and sometimes by removing the tooth if it is badly damaged or decayed.
Caries is an infection that leads to holes in the teeth. These are often caused by bacteria that break down sugars into acids that eat away at the enamel, causing cavities. Caries is treated by fillings, but if it is severe, the teeth might need to be removed.
Gingivitis is a common form of gum disease in which the gums become swollen and tender. The condition can lead to receding gums and in advanced cases, tooth loss. If you have bleeding when brushing or flossing your teeth, it could be an indication of gingivitis.
Gum disease is treated with a deep cleaning and antibiotic therapy.
When do they need to see an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who can help fix crowded teeth, straighten crooked teeth, and correct other problems with the teeth or jaw. Orthodontists are not called in until at least one of two things has occurred: 1) The dentist is concerned about the appearance of the patient’s smile, or 2) Significant problems have developed during teen years.
If you think you may need braces to correct problems with your teeth, set up an appointment as soon as possible.
This is another common problem in orthodontics cases. However, it can also happen due to sports injuries or other accidents. Teeth may chip or break off completely, sometimes leaving them looking crooked and with sharp, jagged edges.
This is an orthodontic problem because it can affect the growth of teeth and alignment of the jaw over time. It is treated by filing down the rough edges, bonding them back together with dental cement, or in some cases, replacing missing teeth with implants or bridges. These procedures will restore your appearance, but will not necessarily repair damage to the jawbone.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome
This condition affects the temporomandibular joints, which connect the lower jaw to the skull. Symptoms of TMJ include popping and clicking noises when opening and closing your mouth, muscle pain in the face and neck and pain that increases when chewing. It is caused by a misalignment of the jaw and can sometimes affect your bite.
This condition can be corrected through a combination of orthodontics and oral surgery to realign the teeth and jaw. This may require removing excess teeth or bone from the upper or lower jaw, depending on what needs to be done.
Malocclusion is an incorrect bite, usually meaning the upper teeth are too far forward or the lower teeth are too close together. The jaw does not line up correctly to keep the mouth closed while chewing, which can cause headaches and other problems.
A person with malocclusions suffers from bite problems which can often be corrected using orthodontics to realign the teeth. Sometimes, surgery may be necessary to reduce jaw size or move it into a better position.
As you can see, orthodontic problems are very common among teens and young adults. If your dentist notices any of the above warning signs, make an appointment with an orthodontist as soon as possible to correct these problems before they lead to more complex issues such as tooth loss or damage to the jawbone.