What do you think of when you hear of tooth decay and other dental problems? Most of the time you probably think of children eating sticky candy and adults who have neglected their teeth for quite some time. The truth of the matter is that dentists are starting to see a spike in cavities, tooth decay, and other dental problems in young adults who are ages 20-34. For these sets of Millennials known as the “Gen Y” going to the dentist does not take pretense over going to college, maintaining their first careers, looking for apartments, and more. A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that only about 50% of adults between 20-34 have been to the dentist within the past year.
The people that makeup “Gen Y” are also the segment of individuals with the highest percentage of untreated decay. In fact, the research has shown that adults in this age group are more likely to have avoided the dentist somewhere along the lines of 2-3 years. Unfortunately, many of these people believe that just because their teeth look fine, they must be fine. This is not necessarily true because there are so many hidden dangers that can take place without you seeing them right off the bat.
Research shows that U.S. adolescents aged 12-19 are more likely to be in serious dental distress. About 13% of children who fall between the ages of 12 and 19, in fact, have at least one tooth that is starting to decay and will continue to be left untreated. Some of the problems, researchers say, is the lack of income to afford dental treatment. Many students are left without insurance and solutions when it comes to their dental health, most of who are college-aged.
This targeted generation has no idea the effects that could take place on such a drastic level. According to, “During the past decade, there has been increasing evidence documenting the relationship between oral health and systemic diseases.” One of the way that many people find out about certain health issues? Through the dentist finding certain oral manifestations. This can include signs of HIV/AIDS, leukemia, Lou Gehrig’s disease, as well as oral cancers. Oral cancer is one of the most serious. When a dentist is able to help you detect it early, you have a higher chance of survival with the right treatment. However, this cannot happen if more people are turning away from treatment at their dentist’s office.
Here are some risk factors that can lead to specific dental issues in college-aged students:
Alcohol Use: The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that about 80% of college students consume alcohol on a regular basis. Using alcohol on a heavy level can have many adverse health effects, and one of these is the impact it can have on the mouth. In fact, you have a bigger chance of getting cavities if you drink alcohol regularly because it allows more bacteria to fester in your mouth.
Tobacco Use: Tobacco use puts college students at risk. Most college students smoke on a social level and have no idea that it could put them at risk of oral cancer and more cavities.
Stress: People who undergo huge amounts of stress may be more likely to turn to alcohol and tobacco. As a result, they will have the same effects. They may also be stressed about meeting certain goals like studying for tests, making a football team and so much more, and neglect their dental health as a result.
It is important to note that, no matter what your age, dental health is extremely important and could save your life later on down the road. Because we want to offer you the best preventative care as well as many other services, we want to speak to you as soon as possible about your concerns. Call us today at McBride Dental for more information. You can reach us at 760-471-1003.