Understanding Common Dental Complaints Among Adults Over 40

Experiencing common dental complaints after the age of 40 can be extremely disruptive to your everyday way of life, especially if you’re unsure of the root cause of the pain or discomfort you’re experiencing. From traditional cavities to abscesses and infections, it’s imperative to pay close attention to your dental and oral care at any age. Familiarizing yourself with some of the most common dental complaints among adults over 40 can help you better identify when it’s time to seek dental care or when you need to schedule an appointment with a dental specialist near you.

Gum Disease

As adults age, one of the most common dental complaints that dentists hear from those over 40 includes inflammation of the gums or even bleeding gums. In most cases, this condition is classified as gum disease and may even be referred to as Periodontitis. Seeing a dentist is always advisable anytime you notice an increase in inflammation, bad breath, or if you’ve noticed receding gums even with proper brushing and flossing.

Gum diseases can pose a significant threat to one’s health and teeth, especially when left unattended or untreated over time. In addition to causing bad breath, receding gums, and bleeding, gum diseases such as Periodontitis also have the ability to cause tooth loss due to the weakening of the gums. Visiting dentists routinely and at least twice a year, or once every six months, is always recommended at any age for check-ups, X-rays, and preventative treatments.

Abscess or Dental Infection

Another one of the most common dental complaints among adults over 40 includes tooth abscesses or dental infections. Abscesses in the mouth occur when there is an open pocket in the tooth or gum that allows for the festering of bacteria or debris, typically caused by food. An abscess can lead to an enlarged pocket of pus, which can cause the infection to spread elsewhere throughout the body. When left alone, a tooth abscess or infection can lead to other organs in the body, including the brain and heart, causing it to quickly become life-threatening.

Anytime you believe you’re suffering from a dental infection or abscess, calling an emergency dentist is essential. Emergency dentists aren’t just well-versed in working with infections and dental abscesses, but they’re also available during off-hours and, in many cases, even on weekends. Taking care of an abscess or an infection in the mouth as quickly as possible is imperative to avoid major complications or life-threatening risks.

Some of the more prevalent signs of an active infection or abscess in the mouth are likely to include extreme pain, obvious swelling near the abscess or infection itself, and bleeding in severe cases. It’s also not uncommon for those who are suffering from a severe infection to experience an elevated body temperature or a fever. When you experience a fever while dealing with an infection or abscessed tooth, it’s essential to seek medical care from an emergency dental office immediately.

Tooth Decay and Cavities

Cavities and tooth decay are not uncommon in individuals of all ages, especially as children lose their baby teeth and develop their adult teeth. However, even as we age, one of the most consistent common dental complaints among adults over 40 includes traditional cavities and tooth decay. In most cases, tooth decay and loss stems from a buildup of acid, debris, and food in the mouth, which often turns to bacteria, causing the enamel to break down and rot. If you believe you’re suffering from a traditional cavity, seeking a dentist office promptly is a must.

Visiting a dentist’s office quickly when you’re experiencing tooth decay or cavities can help pinpoint the root cause of the issue. In some cases, you may also have the ability to save a particular tooth with a filling or another solution, depending on the extent of the damage that has been done to the tooth. Your dentist may also suggest a wide range of fillings, bridges, and root canals, depending on the condition of your teeth and the types of cavities you currently have.

Preventing tooth decay and cavities is often the same as when you’re young. To do so, you need to take your oral healthcare routine seriously by brushing and flossing each time you consume a meal or even drink a sugary beverage. Flossing is equally important as brushing your teeth, as it helps eliminate any bacteria or food that may be stuck between various teeth in the mouth. Using mouthwash is another way to minimize the growth and spread of bacteria in the mouth at any age.

Tooth Loss

When it comes to reviewing common dental complaints, tooth loss is another major complaint among adults who are over the age of 40, regardless of their diet, lifestyle, genetics, and background. Tooth loss can occur for a variety of reasons. Most often, tooth loss occurs due to poor diet, decay from bacteria, trauma, illness, or even simple aging.

If you are tired of losing your teeth, and you’re seeking assistance with regaining your confidence and getting your life back to normal, you may want to consider affordable dental implants as a viable solution. Working with a qualified dentist can walk you through the process of investing in implants that are sure to provide you with the functionality and visual appeal you’re searching for personally. The right dental implants will also restore your ability to talk, chew, and maneuver your mouth appropriately without feeling out of place or incapable of doing so on your own.

Changes in Bite and Alignment

As we get older, another one of the most common dental complaints you’ll likely encounter among adults over 40 includes changes in their bites and alignments. As you get older, your bite and alignment are likely to shift just as naturally as your face shapes and shifts. If you notice that you have changes in your bite or alignment that are interfering with your ability to chew, talk, and even swallow, it might be time to make an appointment with a trusted local orthodontist near you.

Discovering a change in your bite or alignment can be extremely distressing, especially once it begins interfering with your ability to talk clearly, pronounce words, or even chew your favorite foods. Seeing a local dentist or orthodontist is a way for you to discuss your options based on the current shape and condition of your teeth, along with your overall oral health. One option that may be suggested to you, depending on your insurance and preferences, includes Invisalign.

Working with a professional who specializes in repairing misalignments of jaws and teeth can help you to determine if Invisalign is right for you or if there are other alternatives on the market that are more suitable for you and up your alley. It’s important to work with orthodontists and dental specialists you can trust to ensure you’re making a decision that is painless and right for you based on the results you have in mind for yourself. Take the time to compare portfolios of before and after photos of patients who have undergone alignment treatments or procedures you are interested in to make a decision that allows you to feel comfortable.

Denture Care

Adjusting to brand-new dentures after you’re over the age of 40 can feel complicated and overwhelming, especially if you’ve previously never had to deal with an issue involving your teeth or their alignment. If you’ve recently just received dentures, it’s important to know how to go about caring for them to ensure they remain clean and clear from food and debris over time. Working with your dentist who created your dentures can also help you become more familiar with the process of caring for and cleaning your dentures, based on the type of dentures you’ve opted for to suit your individual needs.

Proper denture care is one of the most important aspects of getting dentures, regardless of the age you choose to do so and the condition of your original teeth at the time. If you don’t take proper care of your dentures, you’re much more likely to develop bad breath and other dental-related issues, such as infections. Without proper denture care, you may also begin to experience pain, irritation, and raw skin on the gums.

Take your time to become familiar with the dentures you’ve recently had made to feel more comfortable once they’re in your mouth, and you’re ready to use them. Keep in mind that the process of becoming comfortable with new dentures may take time, especially if you’ve never had to wear any type of retainer or braces in the past in your mouth. Allow yourself a bit of grace as you work to become comfortable with how to properly insert and use your dentures once you receive them.

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders

While you may not have heard of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders, TMJ is one of the most common dental complaints among adults over 40 and among those who struggle with the dislocation of their temporomandibular joint. If you’re struggling with managing your jaw’s movement or if your jaw is in pain, constantly clicking, or feeling stuck, you may need to learn more about Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders by visiting a local TMJ specialist near you.

Seeing a specialist near you who understands TMJ is a way for you to ask questions to learn more about the disorder, its causes, and why it may be impacting you based on the symptoms you’re experiencing. In addition to clicking and popping sounds accompanying pain, it’s not uncommon for individuals who’ve been diagnosed with TMJ to also experience challenges while attempting to chew along with headaches in more serious cases. Because the temporomandibular jaw connects directly to the skull from the jawbone, it can seriously impact your qualify of life if you don’t see the appropriate dentist or TMJ expert as quickly as symptoms begin appearing.

Tooth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration is another one of the common dental complaints that most dentists hear among adults who are older than 40. Unfortunately, tooth discoloration is common as years pass and can be attributed to simply aging, even with proper oral and tooth care. In some cases, however, tooth discoloration can also be attributed to diet and lifestyle choices, which may result in the need for tooth crowns, root canals, bridges, and in some cases, even entire denture sets.

Some of the most common causes of tooth discoloration in older adults (along with children alike) include consuming sugary beverages and a diet including excess sugar and refined carbohydrates. Certain medications may also contribute to the discoloration of teeth, especially when used over an extended time. Additionally, consuming excess amounts of alcohol or other acidic beverages in addition to smoking can also lead to tooth discoloration. For most, tooth discoloration may cause an individual to feel more self-conscious and less confident in themselves, reducing their inner self-esteem.

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is a problem that can impact individuals at any age, but it’s more likely to do so among adults who are currently over 40, regardless of how well they’ve taken care of their teeth and gums. Tooth sensitivity may cause painful reactions whenever an individual comes in contact with hot, cold, or even acidic foods and drinks, depending on the root trigger or cause of their tooth sensitivity. If you’re struggling with recent tooth sensitivity or if you’ve struggled your entire life, it might be time to seek professional dental services to get the relief you need to lead a normal life. Proper brushing, oral care, protective mouthwashes, and a healthier diet can all help eliminate the sensitivity you feel each time you consume foods or different types of drinks.

The more proactive you are when taking care of your teeth and oral health, the less likely you are to experience excruciating pain, tooth loss, or extreme tooth sensitivity as you age. Scheduling routine dental cleanings and checkups will also help you preserve and protect your teeth for many years, if not decades, to come. When you’re well-aware of some of the most common dental complaints among adults over 40, you can do your best to take care of your teeth, gums, and tongue at home to minimize risks and prevent dental emergencies.

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