As we get older, our dental health can start to deteriorate for various reasons. Many adults find themselves needing more intensive dental work than just cleanings and cavities. Dental Issues like gum disease, tooth loss, and jaw misalignment become more common past a certain age. When these problems pop up, you may need to consider specialist dental treatments. Here’s an overview of some of the major dental procedures adults often undergo.
Root canals are a very common procedure. They are needed when the soft pulp tissue inside your tooth becomes infected. This can happen as a result of advanced dental decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, or trauma to the tooth. The signs of needing a root canal include toothaches, swelling, sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks, and darkening of the tooth.
During a root canal, the dentist will remove the infected pulp, clean the inside of the tooth thoroughly, and seal it. Afterward, you will need a crown placed on the tooth to restore its full function. Though the process sounds intense, modern root canal treatments are far less painful and stressful than they used to be.
Losing teeth is another issue adults have to contend with. Missing teeth can make it hard to eat and speak properly. In addition, they can lead to undesirable consequences such as misalignment of your remaining teeth, resulting in bite problems. Dental implants are one solution for replacing lost teeth. A dental implant consists of a titanium screw that is surgically placed in your jawbone. This allows the implant to fuse securely to your bone over a few months. Then, an artificial tooth is attached to the top portion of the implant.
The benefit of implants is that they look, feel, and function like natural teeth. With proper care, they can last decades and preserve your facial structure. Just be prepared for a lengthy treatment process, as implants require surgery and time to heal. But they are an investment in your comfort and appearance.
Painful jaw issues become more common with age as well. If you develop problems like discomfort or limited motion with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), you may need treatment. The TMJ connects your jawbone to your skull. When it is not working properly, it can lead to headaches, tenderness along your jaw, and difficulties opening your mouth fully.
Some potential solutions for TMJ dysfunction include mouth guards, anti-inflammatory medications, injections, and surgery in more serious cases. A dentist who specializes in TMJ and jaw problems can determine the best course of action after assessing your particular condition. Relieving jaw pain and stiffness can greatly improve your quality of life.
Dentures and Bridges
If you are missing multiple teeth, removable dentures or fixed bridges may be an option. Dentures are customized prosthetic devices that replace your lost teeth and gums. Full dentures can replace all upper or lower teeth, while partial dentures fill in gaps from several missing teeth. Bridges permanently fill those gaps by attaching a replacement tooth to crowns on adjacent natural teeth.
Both options come with pros and cons to weigh with your dentist. Dentures are removable, making cleaning easier. But bridges feel more secure and are more natural. In addition, bridges necessitate the sculpting of the neighboring teeth for the placement of crowns. Think about your lifestyle needs when choosing between these tooth replacement solutions.
Lastly, gum or periodontal disease is widespread in adults. This chronic inflammatory condition damages the gums and bone supporting your teeth. If medications and deep cleanings do not successfully treat gum disease, oral surgery St George Utah may be recommended. Certain procedures can be done to remove infected gum tissue or recontour bone to address periodontal pockets.
Though invasive, periodontal surgery aims to arrest the disease and save severely compromised teeth. Talk to a periodontist to learn if you could benefit from surgical treatment for gum disease. Catching it early on can help prevent tooth loss down the road.
Dealing with major dental issues can be daunting. Modern techniques have revolutionized procedures such as root canals, significantly reducing the discomfort. Weigh the pros and cons of treatment options like implants or dentures if faced with tooth loss. And see a specialist promptly if you have chronic gum inflammation or jaw joint problems. Taking action to address these common adult dental problems can boost both your health and your smile.