Dental Care for Adults under 40: Healthy Teeth & Gums
Healthy teeth are a lifelong necessity. So is the need to protect it. While many are under the misconception that dental infections and related problems are only specific to children and adults need not worry about it. Wrong; Dental problems in adults are more intense and have serious repercussions on overall health and if left untreated can prove fatal.
Can it be avoided?
The good news here is that while dental infections are not age specific and the diseases can affect anybody irrespective of the age group, it is preventable. By following a healthy lifestyle and dental regimen, one can ensure that their teeth stay healthy and infection-free.
Brushing and flossing of teeth should be an unwritten rule which needs to be followed diligently. This ensures that there is no germs and acid build-up in the oral cavity and no remnant food particles stuck between the teeth and gums which might lead to infection.
Using the right kind of fluoride toothpaste which is recommended by the dentist is very essential to ensure that the oral hygiene is maintained. Cleaning the tongue after brushing and regular rinsing with a mouth-wash and water ensures that there is no germ or acid build-up.
A soft bristled and small headed toothbrush is more effective than a hard and big headed brush as the former doesn’t hurt or rupture the gums leading to bleeding. Also, it can reach all the difficult corners of the teeth and oral cavity to ensure an effective cleaning process.
Flossing the teeth daily ensures that there is no food particles stuck to the crevices between the teeth. These food particles if left like that would start rotting and lead to germ build up and decaying of teeth.
Eating the right kind of food is very important in maintaining oral health. Too much of starchy and sugary food would lead to tooth decay and infections. Eating fibrous and wholesome food as minimizing the consumption of junk food would do wonders to your dental and overall physical health.
A portion of fresh fruits and vegetables is very essential on a daily basis to get the right balance of nutrients required. Drinking milk is something which adults forget. This is an important source of calcium in our everyday diet and minimizing that leads to brittle teeth and loose gums.
One must always ensure that the food particles stuck between the teeth should be flossed and not removed using tooth picks. For many adults this is a daily routine and some end up rupturing the gums which leads to infection and bleeding.
Apart from the regular infections and hygiene issues, adults also have other health conditions and hormonal imbalances which might lead to loosening of teeth and decay. Unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking and excessive stress also leads to dental diseases. In some cases, too much of dieting and starving increases the amount of gastric acid in the oral cavity leading to tooth decay.
Regular visits to dentists and proper dental care regimen would ensure that we as adults retain that pearly white teeth we had as children. Keeping away from stress and following a healthy lifestyle can only help the adults in dental hygiene and health.
While as kids we are constantly told about how to keep our teeth healthy, as we grow up we tend to take our teeth for granted. We start neglecting the basic oral health regimen and neglect our dental health till it is too late. Let us look at common mistakes and what is the correct way to preserve our teeth.
This is the most fundamental and most essential part of dental hygiene. Brushing twice everyday in itself does wonders to our dental health. It regulates the acid and germ build up in the teeth which would otherwise lead to teeth decay. A good brush which is soft and has a small head typically gives better results. A dentist recommended fluoride tooth paste is advisable for good germ elimination and strong teeth. . Also, to maintain healthy teeth hygiene, one must change the tooth brush after every two-three months to ensure that the bristles don’t get too tattered and worn out.
Regular flossing eliminates any rotten or decaying food particles from between the teeth which might lead to tooth decay or foul odor. Flossing eliminates any plaque build-up in areas where normal brush can’t reach. It should be done regularly to ensure that there is no tartar formation or a calcified deposit which cause quick decay of teeth. Once a tartar layer is formed, only a professional cleaning can get rid of that.
Rinsing and Mouth Washes
Mouth washes and plain water rinsing are really good dental care regimen one must follow. It not only washes off the germs and acid in the dental cavity but also leaves the mouth smelling fresh and odor-free.
A healthy lifestyle, coupled with good dental habits is very essential for preserving our teeth. As kids, our parents forcefully indulge us in healthy habits which we tend to forget as we grow older. In adulthood, we neither have the time nor do we prioritize our dental health over our everyday routine.
Eating a balanced diet along with right supplements ensure a long life to the teeth. Avoiding caffeine, tobacco, nicotine, sugary and starchy food can help a lot in preserving your teeth.
Precautions and aids
When getting active in sports activity, it is advisable to have mouth guards to protect your teeth. Sealant is a very good option when it comes to protecting your molars from decay and infections. One must refrain from neglecting basic dental hygiene and indulging in unhealthy eating habit and lifestyle. Regular visits to a certified dentist would enable a better understanding on what can be done to preserve your dental health and where one is failing.
There are many causes for concern with relation to dental health among adults. While in kids and teenagers, dental hygiene and lifestyle pattern are the only two causes which can affect dental health, the same can’t be said with the adults. With a plethora of diseases and contributors to dental diseases, it is very essential that a proper and regular check-up be conducted to ensure that there is no cause for concern regarding dental health. Let us look at some common cause of concerns and ways to combat it.
This is an inflammation or swelling in the gum region which is the result of result plaque build-up. This leads to extreme pain and sensitivity of the gum region which can complicate further leading to lose of teeth or loosening of teeth from the gum walls. When the teeth is not flossed regularly or not brushed properly it leads to plaque formation. This develops further to tartar if not cleaned soon. This tartar is a calcified deposit of plaque which requires more intense cleaning from the hands of a professional. This further develops and starts decaying the teeth and nearby gum area. This condition is pretty severe and very painful resulting in teeth extraction.
This gum disease can further worsen to gingivitis or periodontitis. This condition can present without any visible symptoms and may be too sudden for the patient. This is a main reason for scheduling periodic dental visits and getting the oral cavity regularly examined and treated for any dental problems at the initial phase itself before it gets a chance to grow and worsen.
This is a very common case of dental damage among children and adults alike. In children, this can be a result of worms and infection in stomach while in adults, it is mostly stress related. Bruxism is defined as the grinding of teeth in the sleep which can cause damage to the teeth and the jaw. For stressed patients with a tendency to grind teeth, mouth guards are highly advisable. This not only gives protection to the teeth but also ensures it does not chip off leading to damaged enamel and rough contours. A dentist can help you understand the possible cause for bruxism and the best suited solution based on the extent of damage.
Temporomandibular Joints Pain
Arguably the most complex joints and the most sensitive to pain, these joints sometimes undergo a lot of physical pain due to undeterminable reasons. Some of the most observed causes of such pain may be arthritis, dislocation, injury or problems related to alignment of teeth. Bruxism is also a reason behind such pain. The symptoms of such pain are and not limited to pain near the earlobes, tender jaw region, headaches and clicking sound during opening and closing of mouth. It is very essential that the patient gets a proper dental evaluation done to ensure that the issue is not further intensified.
When a cavity or tooth decay deepens and becomes more painful and intensifies, a dentist might advise a root canal treatment. This treatment is used to treat the soft regions of the gums which consist of nerves and blood capillaries. These are the region which gets infected initially after which the teeth start decaying. To avoid the teeth from decaying, a dentist removes the affected soft regions and seals it. This eliminates any chance of passing on the infection to the teeth and the nearby gum region. A crown is then placed on the teeth to provide protection from further infection and make it stronger.
This is another coon problem faced by adults. This occurs when a teeth develops extreme pain when a hot or cold object comes in contact with it. This might happen due to cavities, fracture of damage of teeth, worn out sealants or crowns, gingivitis, exposed tooth which has worn out enamel and exposed tooth decay.
This condition is treatable and the dentist might advise the usage of special toothpaste which has a numbing effect on the capillaries of that region leading to decreased discomfort. He might also recommend any alternate treatment based on the condition and the extremity of the situation.
Sometimes, one might experience yellowing of teeth and discoloration due to use of nicotine, tobacco or smoking. Before application of any whitening agent, one must ensure that the teeth can be put through the whitening process without causing further damage to the teeth. This is all the more important to determine in the case of any previous dental procedures like root canal, fillings, usage of crowns etc. It is not advisable in case of heavy staining.
There are three famous bleaching techniques which can be advocated based on the case and severity of the problem-In-house, At-home bleaching and usage of whitening toothpastes.
Balanced diet is very essential not only for dental health but also for overall health. When a body doesn’t get the required amount of nutrition, it leads to all kinds of health disorders which include issues with the dental health. Loosening of teeth, weak and swollen gums, brittle teeth and enamel and foul mouth odor are all signs that your body is not getting the right amount of nutrients that it requires.
Our mouth being the first point of contact between the food and the body, it is very essential that we monitor what we eat so as to prevent harmful repercussions. Majority of the junk food we consume and like to consume are harmful to the dental health and have very less nutritive value. They tend to decay the teeth and leads to gingivitis in the oral cavity.
A good and healthy meal must contain a balance of all nutrients and must not just be high in calories. The following are very essential in a balanced diet and one must ensure to have these as part of their daily meal plan to have a healthy lifestyle:
Fruits and Vegetables: These are an essential part of everyday meal and are very critical for dental and overall health. It contains all the required nutrients and minerals one needs on a daily basis. Fruits and vegetables must be half or more than half of our daily solid consumption. One can take them in different forms like juices, salads, cooked and steamed.
Grains: This is another important part of our daily diet. Grains are a rich source of proteins, vitamins, calcium and dietary fiber. All these are very essential for the well being of our teeth and oral cavity. Whole grains and cereals have low calorific value and high nutrition content. This would enable a healthy body and teeth without putting on a lot of weight.
Dairy and dairy products: Milk and milk related food products like cheese, yoghurt and paneer are rich source of proteins and calcium. These are very essential for dental health and strong teeth. It is worth noting that one glass of milk provides us around 300milligrams of calcium. It also has positive effects in the ph levels of the mouth which would fight off cavities and tooth decay. It decreases the acidity levels of the mouth and keeps it balanced and neutral. This might be due to the increased production of saliva when one eats dairy products.
Lean Proteins: Proteins are also an important part of everyday meal. But fatty products should be better substituted with its leaner versions like lean beef, skinless poultry and fish. For the vegetarians lean proteins would mean legumes, peas and beans.
A healthy diet coupled with a good dental care regime is a fool proof way to ensure that our teeth and oral cavity remains healthy and smile friendly throughout our life. Good and well maintained teeth also paves way to a healthier body and a healthier smile which would be appealing to everyone. One must not stop caring about our dental health as we age. This is because as we age, so does our body, teeth and gums. This would mean that our teeth is now prone to a wider range of diseases and problems and thus requires a greater deal of care and nutrition.