The problems adults face are vastly different compared to those of children, and this extends even to oral health.
According to a recent Health Policy Institute survey, adults are facing dental issues other than cavities at a significantly higher rate. The following are the three most common concerns among the survey’s 15,000 adult respondents:
Xerostomia or dry mouth is the result of reduced or absent saliva flow. As many as 33% of the survey respondents noted experiencing dry mouth occasionally to very often. While saliva is 98% water, it contains many important substances, including electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds and various enzymes. Saliva aids in the first step of digestion while also preventing bad breath and inhibiting microbial growth. Reduced or absent saliva flow not only makes for a significantly uncomfortable mouth, but xerostomia often leads to complications involving bacterial growth and digestion.
Difficulty biting or chewing was an issue for 31% of the survey respondents, but researchers found a greater frequency of reported instances among young and low-income individuals. Dentists from MiSmile note that bite problems can stem from a number of issues, from cracked, loose or deeply decayed teeth to poorly fitted dentures. A serious complication of bite problems would be one’s inability to chew healthy and nutritious food, increasing the tendency to rely on unhealthy, processed food.
The human body has numerous ways to go about notifying you that something is wrong; pain, of course, being the most common, dreadful method. Various issues can cause toothaches, and it is exactly this broad causation that made pain the third most common complaint among the survey’s respondents. Researchers noted, however, that pain emerged as the leading oral health problem for both lower-income households and people aged 18-34.
There is a multitude of oral health problems people have to look out for every single day. While regular dental visits and a thorough oral care regimen is enough to stave off most, if not all, dental issues, patients must be quick in seeking treatment if one problem does manage to find its way to them.