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A study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicates adults age 20-44, otherwise known as Millennials or Gen Y, are the segment with the highest percentage of untreated decay in their permanent teeth. This is because of the growing trend of self-diagnoses after researching symptoms on the internet.

Further research into the matter indicated that adults age 20-34 are more likely to have avoided the dentist for 2-3 years. And, that is where the downfall of oral health begins. If you are a part of Gen Y and the above mentioned habits seem familiar to you, you should take a look at what’s in store for you!

  • Bruxism

More commonly known as constant teeth grinding may not seem like a serious dental problem at first but it can wear out your teeth and cause them to chip or break gradually. Chronic teeth grinding may result in fracturing, loosening, or even loss of teeth, in some cases. Persistence of such a problem will not only damage your teeth, but it man also affect your jaws and result in malfunctioning of the Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) which can even change the appearance of your face.

  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)

This disorder is extremely tough to diagnose as these symptoms occur in areas other than the jaw and require physical examination of your mouth by the dentist as well as specialized tests such as the BITE Test in certain cases. If a dysfunctional TMJ goes unnoticed, it can lead to:

  1. Loss of hearing
  2. Speech abnormality
  3. Severe headaches
  4. Oral deformation
  5. Digestive tract health problems
  6. Immune dysfunction
  • Hypersensitivity

As you begin to age, you may begin to notice heighten sensitivity in your teeth due to consumption of extremely cold or hot foods. This can happen due to decaying teeth, chipped teeth, worn-out enamel, tooth decay or even gum disease.  The severity depends on the health of your teeth. However, if left untreated for long amounts of time, it may lead to hypersensitivity and eventually result in loss of teeth.

  • Dry mouth

The lack of saliva can cause significant damage to your teeth and gums as it washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, while maintaining the health of the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. The reduced supply of saliva or the lack thereof may can ultimately result in tooth and gum decay.

  • Gum disease

People usually don’t show signs of gum disease until they are in their 30s or 40s.  The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, which may lead to periodontitis, a more serious, destructive form of the same, if it is left untreated. This can result in significant damage to the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth and putting the sufferer at risk of losing teeth and supporting bone.

  • Oropharyngeal Cancer

The symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer usually start as a tiny, white or red spot or sore or swelling anywhere in the mouth or throat. It could be anything ranging from a sore lump to numbness in certain areas. Such symptoms aren’t indicative of oral cancer and require further inspection by trained professionals to ascertain the root cause of the same.

As you can see, to ensure you are safe and protected from the above mentioned oral problems, timely dental check-ups are an absolute must. This will improve the chances of catching suspicious changes in your oral health early and preventative measures can be taken well in time.  If you are facing any problems while chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw, make an appointment with our experienced Smile Team at Joshua Hong DDS and we will make sure relief is on the way.