Erie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA
When you think about going to the dentist, you may be reminded of a checkup during your childhood, getting braces as a teen, or that time you had your wisdom teeth removed. However, professional oral health care is important at every age. Proper care during early childhood is important to set you up for a lifetime of good oral health. As you age, though, your oral care priorities usually shift.
At Laser Dentistry of Erie, Dr. Albert Starr has found that even patients who received great care when they were younger experience issues later in life due to changes in their bodies. Certain oral health issues are more likely to impact you between the ages of 40 and 60. Let’s learn more about how your oral health changes as you age.
Four Common Dental Concerns Adults Experience
Concern 1: Gum Disease
We don’t mean to frighten you, but if you’re over the age of 30, you have a 50/50 chance of developing gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The odds increase as you get older, with more than 70 percent of American adults over the age of 65 developing some form of periodontal disease.
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. Embodied by red, sore, or tender gums, the effects of gingivitis can be treated and reversed if you receive treatment for your gum disease in Erie from a qualified dentist like Dr. Starr. However, gum disease quickly could escalate if left untreated, entering the advanced stage called periodontitis. During this stage, patients experience severe bone loss and eventually, tooth loss. Older patients with untreated gum disease face a higher likelihood of having periodontitis. That’s why Laser Dentistry of Erie can treat gum disease in patients of any age with repetitive therapy, laser therapy, and an oral antibiotic called Arestin.
Concern 2: Missing Teeth
When you’re a child, and you lose a tooth, the Tooth Fairy comes. As an adult, losing a tooth is no reason to celebrate. It’s also quite common; more than 120 million Americans have lost at least one permanent tooth. The average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 has three decayed or missing teeth, according to the American Dental Association. Usually, adults lose teeth due to trauma, gum disease, or tooth decay. Whatever the cause, missing teeth aren’t just a cosmetic concern.
Living with lost teeth can lead to severe complications:
- Difficulty eating
- Problems speaking
- Increased risk of gum disease
- Deterioration of supporting bone structure
- Sunken-in facial structure
One missing tooth can lead your other teeth to shift, creating an array of new oral problems. Laser Dentistry of Erie offers several methods of tooth replacement, including dentures, dental implants, or a dental bridge.
Concern 3: Tooth Sensitivity
Enamel is the hard outer layer of your tooth structure. It provides protection against decay and injury, but as you age, your enamel naturally deteriorates. Tooth enamel also can deteriorate prematurely due to consuming too many acidic and sugary foods and drinks, over-brushing, and poor dental hygiene, among other possible contributing factors. Your sensitive teeth also could be the sign of an existing problem. Tooth decay, fractured teeth, cracked fillings, gum disease, and teeth grinding all might lead to enhanced sensitivity. You can use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, but this does nothing to address the root problem you’re experiencing. To determine the exact cause of your sensitive teeth, schedule a consultation at our Erie dental office.
Concern 4: Oral Cancer
As you age, you face a higher risk of developing oral cancer. About 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with some form of oral cancer each year, and it kills more than 9,750 people annually. Dr. Starr can perform an oral cancer screening during each of your regularly scheduled checkups at our dental office in Erie.
Family Dentistry in Erie
At Laser Dentistry of Erie, we can provide top-quality dental care for every member of your family, no matter their age. Remember, good oral health is a key part of good overall health. If you’ve been neglecting your regularly scheduled visits to the dentist, now is a great time to get back on track. Call our office today at (814) 825-2615 to schedule your consultation.
Laser Dentistry of Erie is proud to serve our patients in the areas of Erie, Harborcreek, and Millcreek in Pennsylvania.