Dental patients’ top 6 oral health risks

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Misaligned Teeth: Orthodontics

Misaligned teeth are notorious for impacting oral health issues by contributing to plaque buildup, since it can be challenging for people to brush and floss the tight spaces in between crowded or crooked teeth.

Stress-related grinding (bruxism) and clenching
Bruxism—teeth clenching—grinding by day or during the night may be due to stress. The repeated pressure from grinding can cause tooth wear, jaw pain, and headaches, which contribute to enamel damage, sensitivity, and tooth fractures.

Sugary, or acidic diet
Nearly half of all adults age 30 and older have some form of gum disease, and years of consuming sugary or acidic foods are a prime reason for this. Most sodas, sparkling waters, and sugar-free sports drinks contain various acids that flavor and preserve the product. The carbonation that provides that fresh, fizzy taste is also highly acidic.

Physical or cognitive impairments
Physical limitations such as arthritis can make it difficult for older people to take care of their teeth. As well, sensory and cognitive changes can also affect oral hygiene routines.

Dry mouth
Almost one-third of adults older than 65 deal with dry mouth, and the number rises to 40% of people in their 80s—the most common reason being that many older people take a medication that contributes to dry mouth. Persistent dry mouth increases the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and fungal infections inside the mouth.