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Your mouth is the first stop on your gastrointestinal tract, and what you eat affects the rest of your body. At the same time, how you take care of your gums, teeth, and mouth in general, will affect several parts of your health

Lots of diseases affect the mouth, and some can turn into serious complications. (Always remember early intervention is best to make treatment more successful. Don’t ignore your mouth!) 

AND the biggest myth of all is that serious oral problems only affect older people. Untrue! Sure, the risk of oral conditions increases with age, but it doesn’t mean younger people have nothing to worry about. 

Six oral conditions that can affect younger people

1. Gum disease

Gum or “periodontal” disease comes in many forms, which can cause swelling, pain and can even affect bite structure. Studies show periodontal disease is not only prevalent in older people; young adults and adolescents also experience it. 

2. Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a condition that causes inflammation in the gums. This is a condition that also affects younger adults. It is generally caused by both bacteria and plaque collection on your teeth. This is actually a specific type of periodontal disease. It may not be as destructive but it can develop into more serious health problems. 

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3. Sensitive teeth and tooth decay

Tooth decay sometimes happens as early as childhood. This can lead to several potential consequences. When you have tooth decay, your teeth may become weaker and brittle. This means breaking a tooth becomes easier – something you obviously want to avoid for as long as possibly. When you have tooth decay, sensitivity is sure to follow as well. 

4. Root canal

When the crown on a tooth breaks off, then you may need a procedure done in the dentist’s office called a root canal. It’s a common (and not-great) procedure often performed on young adults. It involves removing  the root of the tooth, which helps reduce sensitivity and pain. A new crown is then placed on top. 

5. TMJ disorder

TMJ disorder is another condition affecting both older and younger people. This condition affects the jaw, where a crackling sound in the jaw can be heard when you open and close your mouth. Pain and stiffness are also common symptoms. 

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6. Oral cancer

Oral cancer is a dreaded disease, and yet common. A dentist can detect early signs of oral cancer and provide an appropriate treatment plan to prevent cancer from growing and spreading. 

The role of your dentist

People looking to find a dentist often have a toothache or another problem with their oral cavity. This is certainly an important time to contact a dentist, but it should not be the only time when you seek one out. Everyone needs a dentist they see regularly. ! 

Preventative dental care should be something to consider early in life. Even among kids, the earlier regular check-ups are scheduled, the lower the risk of more serious oral conditions. 

Start by making a dentist appointment at least once every 12 months, (ideally twice). Then ask your dentist to provide a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and surrounding tissue. A dental cleaning can also be scheduled when looking for a dentist near you. A platform like OpenCare can help you find a local dentist with a proven record. 

Conclusion

Oral health is something that needs to be prioritized among both young and old. Unfortunately, young people often consider conditions like gum disease and cancer in the oral cavity, something that only happens to the elderly. Still, a large number of adults under 40 experience these conditions. Just remember to understand the risks and realize the importance of a dentist as part of your dental hygiene strategy.

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