White Bear Smiles

White Bear Smiles

As an adult, am I less likely to have dental problems than when I was younger?

Unfortunately, the possibility of having dental problems doesn't necessarily diminish as we age. Although the baby boomer generation has benefited from water fluoridation programs and fluoride toothpaste, problems can still crop up in the adult's mouth.

Gum disease, for instance, remains a problem for adults. Some 14 percent of adults aged 45 to 54 have severe gum disease.

Signs and symptoms from soft-tissue diseases like cold sores are common in adults. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, about 19 percent of adults aged 25 to 44 are affected by such soft-tissue ailments.

Every year more than 400,000 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are afflicted with oral problems like painful mouth ulcers, loss of taste and dry mouth as a result of malfunctioning salivary glands.

The CDC reports that employed adults lose more than 164 million hours of work each year because or oral health problems. So the message is keep brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly. Don't sit back and relax.