Oral health problems in adults are advancing at a concerning rate, with 26 percent of adults in the United States suffering from untreated tooth decay, and 46 percent of all adults over the age of 30 showing signs of gum disease, points out the CDC. On top of that, poor oral health has been associated with other chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

There are several common dental conditions present in today’s adults, from tooth decay and gum disease to stained teeth and oral cancer. Luckily, preventive dentistry can prevent or lessen the effect of many of these conditions. Today we will explore some of the most common dental conditions in adults.

1. Gingivitis

Are your gums tender? Do they start to bleed easily? Are they starting to pull away from your teeth? Well, you may suffer from gum disease (AKA gingivitis), which is caused by a buildup of plaque underneath the gum line. Left unchecked, it can lead to bone loss and shifting or loosening of the teeth. Plus, gum disease also makes it more difficult to chew and speak. To prevent the onset of gum disease, brush and floss regularly and always rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash daily.

Did you know that almost half (46 percent) of adults over the age of 30 show signs of gum disease, while severe gum disease affects nine percent of adults?

2. Cavities

These little holes in your teeth form when plaque is allowed to build up on the teeth. This slowly destroys the hard outer shell (AKA enamel). For many adults, tooth decay forms right at the gum line or around the edges of fillings. You can keep cavities away by brushing your teeth at least twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste, flossing, limiting snacks, rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash, and keeping up with your regular dental appointments.

According to the CDC, 90 percent of adults 20 and older have had at least one cavity, while one in four adults between the ages of 20 and 64 has at least one cavity.

3. Sensitivity

As we get older, our teeth start to get increasingly sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages, which occurs with the gradual wearing away of tooth enamel. This wear is what exposes the dentin, which features tubes leading to the nerves deeper inside the teeth. This is the route hot or cold substances take to travel along and cause you pain.

Tooth sensitivity, also known as dentin hypersensitivity, is typically caused by tooth decay. Other causes may include:

  • Enamel erosion
  • Gum disease
  • Worn-down crowns or fillings
  • Infected roots
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Naturally thin enamel layer
  • Receding gums

To combat this, choose toothpastes and mouthwashes that are made specifically for sensitive teeth. Alternatively, you can ask your dentist for a fluoride treatment. Your dentist may suggest a gum graft, crown, or root canal depending on the severity of the situation.

4. Stained Teeth

It’s common for adults to experience yellowing of the teeth. This happens over many years of exposure to certain foods and medications, as well as tobacco use and even trauma. Fortunately, you can easily fix this with teeth whitening. Either have your dentist do this in the office, or ask for a take-home tray. You could also purchase an over the counter product; however, remember that whitening toothpastes and rinses only remove surface stains.

5. Bad Breath

Also known as halitosis, bad breath can be caused by many things, including:

  • Acid reflux
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Medication
  • Foods
  • Infection
  • Dry mouth
  • Cancer

The most likely culprit for bad breath is the food you’re eating, such as garlic and onions. If you are concerned about bad breath, inquire further about this at your next dental visit. Your dentist can perform an exam and recommend the best course of action for you.

6. Receding Gums

Receding gums often lead to more serious issues, such as tooth loss, when ignored. Why? The root of the tooth becomes exposed, putting your tooth at risk of damage. Receding gums may also be caused by:

  • High blood pressure
  • Brushing your teeth too hard
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Hormonal fluctuations in women
  • Genetics
  • Smoking

7. Cracked or Broken Teeth

Cracked or broken teeth can arise from a number of circumstances, from injury and mouth piercings to chewing hard foods and grinding your teeth while sleeping. These situations can be very painful, depending on the extent of the damage. Your dentist will examine you and treat these cracked or broken teeth with veneers, crowns, or tooth-colored fillings.

Book Your Next Appointment With Piedmont Oaks Dental

Whether you’re an adult who has any of the above conditions, or you just want to maintain your oral health with your next six-month cleaning, book an appointment in Piedmont online or call us at (510) 654-6523. We are located at 1345 Grand Ave. Suite 103 in Piedmont, CA, with convenient hours to fit your busy lifestyle.