Tooth Trouble for Teens

You face many difficulties during your teenage years. Social struggles and body changes can alter your dental care and health. Drs. Donald, Justin, and Cody Coon can help keep your smile healthy throughout all stages of life.

Social Behaviors

Teenagers experiment with different habits in the hopes of “fitting in” or being socially accepted. Despite all the health warnings, many teens consider smoking. Smoking can cause stained teeth, bad breath, gum disease, and oral cancer. Older peers also encourage youth to experiment with alcohol, which contributes to dry mouth and bad breath. Teenagers are always focused on the coolest fashions, and oral piercings are a common fashion misconception. Tongue and lip piercings can cause oral swelling, infection, and chipped teeth. Furthermore, as their bodies change, many teenagers develop unhealthy eating patterns and eating disorders. Bulimia and other purging disorders can cause enamel erosion, stained teeth, and halitosis.

Life Factors

During your teenage years, your body changes from child to adult. Puberty causes hormonal changes, and the dental changes are more common in women than men. An increase in progesterone and estrogen hormones cause increased blood circulation to the gums, causing sensitive and tender gum tissue. Oral contraceptives and birth control pills can increase your risk of gingivitis if taken for long periods of time. Some oral medications and treatments may also decrease the effectiveness of the contraceptive. Other life changes include the increased stress teenagers face. School, work, and parents cause tension in your life, which may cause you to develop poor eating habits (such as loading up on sugar and soda), neglect dental hygiene, and grind your teeth.

Dental Problems

Many people realize the need for braces as a teenager. During or after your teeth have fully developed, Dr. Coon can evaluate your alignment. Spaced, crowded, or crooked teeth can be difficult to clean, increasing your risk of tooth decay. In addition, misaligned teeth aren’t very appealing and can crush a teen’s self-confidence. Braces can straighten teeth and push them into proper position. If a mouth full of metal makes you fear the school bullies, ask Dr. Coon about the clear Invisalign treatment to secretly straighten your grin. Additionally, your third molars, also called wisdom teeth, start to develop and erupt during the late teen years. Sometimes there is not enough room for these teeth to grow in properly, and they push on the surrounding teeth, causing pain and discomfort. If wisdom teeth are problematic, Dr. Coon may recommend getting them extracted.
If your typical teenage habits and changes start to affect your teeth, visit Drs. Cody, Justin, and Donald Coon to keep your smile safe. Contact Grinnell Street Dental in Sheridan, WY, at (307) 672-7567 to request an appointment or checkup.