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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults


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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

Once my children were grown and on their own, I decided it was time to care of me. One of the first things I did was make an appointment with the dentist. I quickly discovered that years of not keeping up with my own dental care had taken a heavy toll on my teeth. Whereas I thought my teeth were just fine, the dentist pointed out several problems that were going to require a lot of work. When talking to friends, I found out that many of them were in the same boat. This blog is for people like me who just did not have time to keep up with their own dental care.

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4 Common Conditions That May Require An Emergency Dental Appointment

Regular dental visits help keep your teeth clean, but sometimes, you have a dental emergency. Dental emergencies usually cause major pain and may lead to further complications. If you would like to know more, check out these four common conditions that may require emergency dental services.

1. Tooth Infection

A tooth infection or abscess is a bacterial infection inside the tooth's pulp or roots. It's caused by severe decay or trauma that allows bacteria to reach the pulp/roots. In many cases, the pain forces you to visit the emergency dentist, but even if you aren't in much pain, an infection should be treated fast to prevent it from spreading.

Treatment may involve root canal therapy to remove the pulp. This weakens the tooth, but a dental crown strengthens it. If you can't afford a root canal treatment, or root canal treatment has repeatedly failed in the past, you may need to have the tooth extracted.

2. Cracked/Chipped Tooth

Teeth can chip or crack if they've been weakened from decay, but it's also common after trauma, such as getting hit during a high-impact sports club. Depending on the size of the chip/crack, you may experience pain/sensitivity, especially when exposed to heat, cold, or sugar.

Most importantly, however, any chip/crack is a gateway for bacteria to reach the tooth's pulp. It also lets bacteria past the tooth's enamel to start tooth decay. Similarly, missing, or broken fillings allow bacteria to enter.

3. Damaged Oral Orthotic

Oral orthotics like dental crowns, veneers, and dental bridges are durable and strong. However, wear and tear and poor oral hygiene can weaken the bond, causing them to fall off. If this happens, your tooth is fully exposed to decay.

To house the crown, bridge, or veneer, the dentist removes some, most, or all of the tooth enamel. Since tooth enamel never regrows, the tooth is vulnerable to decay and sensitivity.

4. Lost Tooth From Trauma

In extreme, traumatic situations, your tooth may become fully dislodged. Getting treatment immediately is paramount to saving the tooth. In many cases, the dentist can replace the tooth, and the body will reaccept it. However, you'll need to get the tooth, protect the root, and seek treatment immediately.

Seeking treatment is also important to ensure no piece of the tooth was left behind. If a piece was left, it can lead to infection later. Similarly, the wound from the missing tooth could become infected.

The dentist can do a lot for your oral health, including preventative and emergency procedures. Quick treatment can save the tooth and prevent complications. If you would like to know more, contact a dentist in your area today.