5 Most Common Dental Concerns of Teens

Teenage years are probably the most awkward period in one’s life. It’s that time when you worry too much just about anything, most especially on how you look.

Dental problems are just one of the many issues teens have as they go through the adolescent period. Most of these dental concerns are so common that they were deemed normal part of life.

Learn more about what these concerns are and find out what you and your dentist can do about it.

Crooked or Misaligned Teeth

Misalignment of teeth is a very common dental anomaly that occurs not just in kids and teens, but even in adults as well.

It often occurs when the space left for the erupting permanent teeth is too little or too much. Too little space leads to crowding, while too much space results to spacing or diastema.

Both can result to an unpleasant smile, malocclusion (a.k.a. bad bite), early wear of teeth, and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems. To correct misalignment, installation of dental braces is often necessary.

Dental braces are placed in the patient’s mouth by an orthodontist, a dentist who specializes in the correction of malocclusion.

Braces are typically made of metal secured in position by colorful dental elastics. But for some teens, metal display is an issue so there’s also ceramic braces that looks less obvious and Invisalign which, as its name suggests, is virtually invisible.

Consult your dentist to find out which option is best for you.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

The third molars, more commonly known as the wisdom teeth, are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth. They come out at the age of 17 to 21.

Most of the time, there isn’t enough space for them or their position simply does not allow them to erupt straight up.

In both cases, they are referred to as impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth must always be removed unless contraindicated. If left in the mouth, they may lead to other problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and damage to adjacent teeth.

Impacted teeth are extracted through a surgical operation known as odontectomy. In this procedure, which is done under local or general anesthesia, the dental surgeon makes an incision on the area of the impacted tooth.

The overlying gum tissue is then lifted or reflected to expose the tooth. Bone reduction may be done as necessary.

Once the tooth is extracted, the gum tissue is then put back into its original position and the incision is closed with sutures. Complete healing of the surgical site takes about 3-6 months.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay pertains to the destruction of tooth structure by the acid-producing bacteria in the mouth. It is caused by eating lots of sugary foods without brushing the teeth after.

Much as it is the most common dental disease, it is also very preventable. The best way of avoiding it is to practice good oral hygiene and do regular visits to your dentist for consultation, professional cleaning, and topical fluoride application.

Fluoride helps make the teeth stronger to stop further decay.

But if the decay is already extensive and tooth enamel has been worn off, your dentist will remove the decay and fill the cavity with an appropriate filling material.

And if the destruction has reached the pulp, the damage is said to be irreversible and a simple filling won’t solve the problem. In such case, the treatment would either be root canal or extraction.

Bad Breath

Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, is brought about by accumulation of bacteria in the tongue and teeth.

In most cases, a simple improvement in one’s oral hygiene is enough to get rid of this problem.

A good oral hygiene means brushing at least twice a day and using floss to clean in-between teeth. And as always, regular dental visits are also necessary.

Tooth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration may result from surface stains or from changes within the tooth. Surface stains are referred to as extrinsic stains.

This type of stain affects only surface of the enamel, and is commonly caused by smoking and consuming dark-colored food and beverages.

Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, are those that affect the inner structures of the tooth – the dentin and pulp.

Causes of intrinsic stains include too much fluoride, tetracycline antibiotics, and trauma. Discoloration may also be age-related.

As we age, our teeth appear more yellow as the enamel thins out, causing the yellow-colored dentin to show through.

Extrinsic stains can be removed by regular brushing using whitening toothpastes and by professional cleaning.

But if you want your teeth to be whiter than their natural color, bleaching is recommended. Intrinsic stains won’t respond to whitening products nor bleaching.

To get rid of them, your dentist will either cover the stains with tooth-colored filling material or put veneers on the facial surface of the teeth.

5 Symptoms That Should Make You Run to Your San Diego Dentist

When was the last time you have been to the dentist?

The recommended frequency of dental visits should be once every six months, but this is hard to achieve for many of us.

Sometimes, we get too busy and preoccupied with day-to-day life and a visit to our San Diego dentist takes a backseat, all too often forgotten.

For some of us, a visit to the dentist is as scary today as when we first went as kids.

But there just are some dental issues that absolutely can’t be avoided and that require immediate attention from your dentist.

Normally it’s a nasty toothache, but did you know that there are a lot of other symptoms that should be a cause of concern?

You’ll be surprised at how normal these ‘little symptoms’ seem and at how important it is to have them checked by our San Diego dentist.

When to Visit Your San Diego Dentist:

Bad Breath and Unusual Taste in The Mouth:

There are two kinds of bad breath: the normal kind and the recurring kind, the latter of which should be a cause of concern.

If you have a sudden change in the smell and taste of your mouth, and it has nothing to do with what you ate (or drank, or smoked), then you must visit your dentist. It could be a sign of gum disease, cavities, or even GERD.

Mouth Sores That Do Not Seem to Heal:

Mouth sores are common. They come and go, especially when your body is trying to adjust to natural changes in chemical composition or even changes in the weather.

Normally, mouth sores should heal within two weeks; if they linger longer than that, you should definitely go see your San Diego dentist.

Mouth sores are one of the first signs of mouth cancer, but it should appear along with other symptoms.

Visiting the dentist is only a safety barrier, just to rule out anything serious.

Pain, Swelling, and Bleeding in the Gums:

Any form of pain or swelling is an indication that something is wrong.

It could mean a gum infection, cavities, or gum disease.

The first sign of tenderness or swelling, accompanied by some discoloration in that specific gum area, should send you to your dentist right away. Gum problems, when neglected, could cause tooth loss.

Teeth Sensitivity:

Teeth sensitivity is characterized by a sudden jolt of pain when eating/drinking hot, cold, or sour food/drinks.

It is always an indication of nerve damage and should be seen by your dentist immediately.

Chronic Dryness of Mouth:

The saliva in the mouth is there for a reason, one being that it contains a lot of antiseptic properties that help maintain the mouth’s bacterial and chemical equilibrium.

If you experience dry mouth too frequently and too long at a time, you should visit your San Diego dentist >ASAP. It could be a sign of an underlying condition.

For your San Diego dentist needs, there’s always Irresistible Smiles. Contact us today at (858) 755-8993 to set up an appointment!

Overlook Dental Health to Invite Headaches

Eating a lot of sticky food, not brushing every day, and not visiting your dentist every six months can ruin the look of your teeth and cause multiple dental health problems.

Your teeth can turn yellow and the protective, transparent layer – known as enamel – around them can decay, leaving the teeth vulnerable to more bacterial attacks and further deterioration.

The ill-effects of poor dental care do not confine themselves to your mouth. In fact, they can affect your overall health.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy You!

The mouth-body connection is not an urban myth.

The phrase “Healthy Mouth, Healthy You” is backed by scientific evidence.

Research shows that good care of your teeth can boost your self-esteem and confidence, lower the risk of heart disease, sharpen your memory, reduce inflammation risk, stabilize blood sugar, and help women carry their baby to term.

It can also reduce frequency and intensity of headaches.

Headaches and Dental Health:

At first glance, any connection between headaches and dental health appears rather tenuous, but it is not.

Headaches are one of the most common medical complaints and one of the most common symptoms of temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ), a medical condition of the jaws.

If you have been diagnosed with TMJ, you very likely suffer from regular headaches. It is also true the other way: if frequent headaches are your problem, you may have TMJ.

TMJ is not the only link between dental health and headaches.

Other problems in your teeth and jaws can cause either tension headache – the milder, more common form of two types of headaches – or migraine.

Two common conditions that lead to pain in your head are:

Tooth Abscess:

The innards of your teeth are known as pulp. Sometimes, the pulp can get infected.

You can experience an intense ache in your head and face if the infected pulp belongs to your upper teeth.

A common treatment for an abscess is endodontic treatment. Your dentist may choose to combine the treatment with antibiotics, or pick a different therapy altogether.

Post-Extraction Infection:

Sometimes one or more of your teeth can deteriorate so much that your dentist will have no other option but to remove them.

Once a tooth is removed from its socket, the underlying bone becomes susceptible to infection.

Though dentists take care to reduce the risk, it is not unheard of for a small number of patients to report an infection within 10 days of tooth extraction.

The infection starts off as mild pain in the bone, but then expands to your face, temple, and neck.

Taking good care of your mouth goes hand-in-hand with taking good care of your body.

Poor dental health affects you in several ways, headaches being one of them.

Several conditions of teeth and jaws can trigger headaches. In such situations, it is best to consult a dentist.

If you live in San Diego or Chula Vista, you can speak to us at Irresistible Smiles now by calling (858) 755-8993 for our San Diego office or (619) 656-6785 for our Chula Vista location. We offer a highly-experienced and qualified dental team for dental conditions.