Most Common Dental Problems for Adults

As Germantown’s dentist of choice, Clopper’s Mill Dental Care is dedicated to helping you and your family achieve excellent oral and dental health. While we discussed great dental health for children in our previous blog, we’ll discuss oral health issues of middle-aged adults in this one. Here are a few of the most common dental problems that adults face, how to detect them, and how to treat them.



Also known as gum disease, gingivitis is a type of oral disease that causes mild swelling, bleeding, irritation, and tenderness of the gums. Gingivitis is often caused by poor oral hygiene, and is difficult to detect if the symptoms are mild enough. If poor oral hygiene persists, gingivitis can worsen and turn into periodontal disease, which can lead to more deeply rooted infections and tooth loss.

To avoid gingivitis, practice the basics: twice-daily brushing, rinsing, flossing, and annual visits to your local dentist.


Often preceded by gingivitis, periodontitis is a bacterial infection that affects the teeth, gums, roots, and alveolar/jaw bone. Symptoms of periodontitis are similar to symptoms of gingivitis, just more extreme and outwardly visible.

When plaque hardens into tartar, the bacteria in the that tartar roots itself deeper and deeper into the teeth, gums, and jaw, causing frequent bleeding, irritation, and on some occasions, painful sores. This bacteria can also cause teeth to slowly detach from the alveolar bone, causing tooth loss.

Periodontitis isn’t something that happens overnight—it’s caused by poor oral hygiene over a prolonged period of time, and the inability to rid the mouth of gingivitis. If you experience any symptoms of gingivitis or periodontitis, schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. They can educate you on proper dental hygiene to avoid types of gum disease, and remove the plaque and tartar that is causing problems in your mouth.

Dry Mouth

Full body health is a direct reflection of oral health—so if something is wrong in your mouth, chances are that it could be sign of a larger, more widespread health problem. Dry mouth is a great example of this concept. While dry mouth occurs in adults who use tobacco products, take a number of maintenance and over-the-counter medications, or simply snore or sleep with their mouths open, it can also be a sign of nerve damage, an oral bacterial infection, or an autoimmune disease.

If your dry mouth persists or becomes bothersome, pay your dentist a visit to discuss the potential causes of your ailment.


Sensitive teeth have become more and more common amongst middle-aged adults for a variety of reasons. With many citizens of Western nations consuming large amounts of sugar and soda products throughout their lifetimes, these citizens are more likely to suffer from tooth decay, worn tooth enamel, and tooth erosion caused by sugary and acidic food items. Once these foods wear down the tooth enamel, they can expose nerve endings in the teeth to extreme heat, cold, or stickiness. This can cause sharp, unexpected tooth pain and sensitivity.

Sensitivity of the teeth can also be caused by brushing too hard or using a hard-bristle toothbrush, grinding teeth during sleep, and post-dental-work sensitivity (this sensitivity should subside after a while).

While many types of teeth hypersensitivity do not have immediate remedies, it’s important to talk with your dentist so they can find the best course of treatment for your sensitivity.

Oropharyngeal Cancer

Oropharyngeal cancer can form in any part of the mouth or neck, including the lips, gums, cheeks, jaw, tongue, soft palate, or throat, and usually begins with red or white sores forming in the cancerous area. Like most cancers, oropharyngeal cancer is more easily treated when detected early on, so it’s important to get frequent oral exams as you advance into middle-aged adulthood—according to, people older than 45 years have an increased risk of oropharyngeal cancer.

Heavy drug and alcohol use, poor oral hygiene, and malnutrition are some of the main causes of oropharyngeal cancer, all of which can be prevented by practicing quality health habits and making scheduled trips to your local dentist’s office.

Visit Your Dentist at Clopper’s Mill Dental Care

Whether you need a routine oral health exam or a more serious procedure, Clopper’s Mill Dental Care in Germantown is dedicated to providing you with quality dental care and industry-leading service, so you can have pristine oral health into your old age. We offer oral cancer screenings, dental implants, teeth cleaning, oral surgery, and more. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Contact Us