Why Are Dental Issues So Common?
In the United States, dental issues like cavities and gum disease are very common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 91% of adults over the age of 20 have dental caries in their permanent teeth. Gum disease is also very common, with an estimated 47.2% of adults age 30 and over having moderate to severe Periodontitis. Let's review why there are so many dental problems.
1. Improper Oral Hygiene
One of the primary reasons for dental issues like cavities and gum disease is poor oral hygiene. Brush your teeth after each meal and before going to bed for cleaner teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children and adults brush their teeth twice daily for at least two minutes. They also say you should floss at least once every day. Additionally, regular visits to the dentist are important to get professional cleaner teeth.
When we don't brush and floss regularly, harmful bacteria can build up in our mouths, causing cavities, gum disease, and other problems. In fact, the American Dental Association estimates that more than 90% of adults in the US have had at least one cavity in their lifetime. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings can go a long way in preventing these issues.
2. Poor Diet
The average American diet plays a role in dental issues. A diet that is high in sugar can be a significant contributor to dental problems. Sugary foods and beverages should be consumed in moderation as the sugar will stay on your teeth for a long time if you don't remove it through brushing or flossing. Additionally, acidic foods and drinks, such as soda and citrus fruits, can erode tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay. A balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables and limits sugary and acidic foods can help promote healthy teeth and gums.
Stress impacts oral health by weakening the immune system and decreasing saliva production. Saliva is essential for stronger and cleaner teeth. Additionally, stressed people may have less energy to properly care for their teeth and gums. Work on prioritizing your mental health in order for your physical and therefore oral health to remain strong.
Some people are more prone to dental issues due to their genetics. For example, some people have naturally weaker tooth enamel, making them more susceptible to cavities and decay. Additionally, some genetic disorders can impact dental health, such as amelogenesis imperfecta, which affects tooth enamel development. While we can't change our genetics, knowing our family history can help us take proactive steps to prevent dental problems.
As we age, our teeth and gums undergo natural wear and tear, making them more susceptible to dental issues. Additionally, many older adults take medications that can cause dry mouth, which can lead to an increased risk of cavities and gum disease. Regular dental checkups can help catch and address these issues before they become more severe.
6. Lifestyle Factors
Lifestyle factors such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can also contribute to dental issues. Smoking can stain teeth and lead to gum disease and oral cancer, while alcohol can dry out the mouth, leading to an increased risk of cavities and gum disease. Limiting these behaviors can help promote healthy teeth and gums.
7. Fear of the Dental Office
Many people fear going to the dentist due to bad experiences or stories they've heard from friends and family. This anxiety can prevent them from getting regular check-ups or treatments for their teeth and gums, making it easier for dental problems to take root. Luckily, sedation dentistry is available for those suffering from dental anxiety or phobia.
Dental issues like cavities and gum disease are common in the United States. While genetics certainly play a role, you can avoid these problems with proper oral hygiene, a healthy diet and regular visits to the dentist. If you're having any dental issues, consider using LivFresh Dental Gel to help maintain a healthy smile! Give us a call today to learn more.