During puberty hormonal changes can cause an increase in blood flow to the gums. This will lead to redness and swelling and eventually gum disease if not properly taken care of. Pregnant teenagers also tend to have oral health problems due to hormonal changes.
Jaw clenching or tooth grinding can lead to jaw joint (temporomandibular) soreness and pain. Muscles of the joint become fatigued from being over-worked or parts of the joint can become damaged or degenerated over time. Symptoms include: an uneven or uncomfortable bite, headaches, a locking joint, discomfort while chewing, earaches, or tenderness around the jaw. X- rays, CT scan or MRI can determine what part of the joint is damaged. Treatments may include medications, bite guards, stress management, corrective dental treatment, or surgery. Muscle relaxation, meditation, yoga, stretching or massage, eating soft foods and other home remedies may help prevent the need for medical interventions.
Teenagers with asthma tend to breathe out of their mouth and decrease the saliva content. Saliva protects the tooth enamel by washing away the sugars, acids and other food particles. Teens who play lot of sports also mouth breath and tend to get swollen and irritated gums. Sleeping with your mouth open also decreases saliva flow and more risk for decay.
Many teens have braces or a retainer on their teeth. These appliances make tooth brushing and flossing more of a chore than normal. Adolescents with orthodontic appliances tend to get more cavities because they do not follow through with proper oral health maintenance.
Wisdom teeth usually appear between the ages of 16-21. We will take a panoramic x-ray about this age to see if the wisdom teeth are growing straight or impacted (growing sideways.) Dentists will check to see if there is enough room in the jaw, look for a cyst formation around the tooth, and determine if there could be damage to the adjacent tooth or jaw bone.
Bleaching of the teeth has become a favorite cosmetically enhancing activity of teens. We do NOT recommend tooth whitening until all permanent teeth are in and straightened by orthodontic appliances. Starting too early can lead to permanent teeth with uneven coloration.
Cosmetic procedure smake your teeth look “perfect.” We can fill in large gaps between teeth or increase the size of a misshapen tooth.
Placement of a thin coating of white filling material in the grooves of the back teeth can help prevent sticky substances from adhering to the tooth. This will help teens to decrease their chances of decay.
Bulimia and Anorexia can be very serious health problems. They can also cause erosion of the teeth and an increase in tooth decay.
Smoking has been found to be the major factor contributing to the most common forms of oral disease. Cigarette smoking causes periodontal (gum) disease, cancer of the mouth and throat.
We do not recommend oral piercings or other mouth jewelry as it causes infection, swollen tongue that can close off your airway, nerve damage, pain, uncontrolled bleeding, fractured teeth, injury to gum tissue and choking on a loose stud or barbell.