November 6, 2021

Common Oral Health Problems in Adolescents

Adolescents face several oral health problems which may require them to consult a dentist or any other healthcare practitioner. Irregular teeth growth is a prevalent condition and adolescents with braces are a familiar sight. Another difficulty is wisdom teeth extraction or the removal of the third molar. Dental cavities are yet another major concern in teens.

Orthodontics is a specialty in dentistry which deals with treatment, development and prevention of abnormal teeth, jaw and bite. Orthodontics also helps to treat jaw issues and facial deformities. If a general dentist notices irregularities in the teenager, he/she will recommend the patient to an orthodontist. The American Dental Association recommended that every adolescent above the age of seven should get an orthodontic assessment done. Problems that require orthodontic treatment are crowded or crooked teeth, excess teeth, missing teeth, under-bite, overbite, jaw joint problem, and inappropriate or misaligned jaw position.

To acquire braces or any other orthodontic treatments, the optimal age is ten to fourteen years. But regardless of age, the same physical and biological process is used in correcting and changing teeth alignments. Braces are sometimes known as fixed orthodontic appliances. There are three types of braces used to shift and realign the teeth. The first consists of brackets that are manufactured out of plastic or metal. They are either of tooth color or transparent and are glued onto the teeth. The second type is the lingual type of brackets which are affixed to the rear teeth and cannot be seen while talking. The third type is a band. It is a metal band that covers the teeth and wraps around the last ones.

When adolescents wear braces they have to take particular care in order to avoid any extra oral health concerns. The most important prophylactic measure is to wash the teeth routinely after every meal. Since the food can be easily lodged in braces, it is a good idea to brush gently using soft bristles toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste. In the morning, the adolescent must floss between the braces and teeth. Foodstuff that is sticky or hard must be avoided as they are very tough to remove. Foods like caramel, chew candy, popcorn, and nuts must be avoided. Cleaning must be done by the orthodontist or normal dentist, every five to six months.

The wisdom teeth or third molars can grow in people of the age fifteen to twenty-five. These teeth cause trouble because most of the mouths are too small to accommodate new teeth and so they need to be removed. If the wisdom tooth has area to grow, without impacting other teeth, they can be left to themselves. But if the adolescent has pain, facial swelling, mouth infection, and gum-line swelling, then they should be extracted quickly. They can also destroy the second molars and impact another tooth. Various gum and jaw illnesses can be caused. There can be tumor development; cysts development and plaque build-up. Hence, surgery is conducted to remove the tooth or teeth. The gum tissue covering the wisdom tooth is removed and the connective tissue attaching the tooth to the bone is separated. The tooth is then removed and the hole is sutured. A general dentist can do wisdom teeth surgery in the local office utilizing an anesthetic.

Five times frequent than asthma is dental cavities. The tooth above the gum line is made up of enamel, the toughest tissue within the human body. The tooth below the gum-line comprises nerves, roots, and dentin. Dentin is another sort of tissue that isn’t as hard as the enamel. The acid which leads to tooth decay is created by bacteria. These acids, together with dietary sugar, adhere to the enamel and eat away the minerals within the enamel until a cavity is formed. This is known as a tooth cavity. The biggest prophylaxis against dental cavities is cleaning teeth twice a day and much better, after every meal with fluoride toothpaste and soft bristle toothbrush. Carbonated drinks must be avoided strictly and must be replaced with fruit juices and sweet food must be avoided. Intake of fluoridated water also helps a lot or fluoride supplements can be used as a replacement.

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