Several changes can occur in a young person’s body once they exit their formative years and reach puberty. As teenagers, most of these changes involve both mind and body. Most teens have their permanent teeth, having lost “baby teeth” early in primary school. As a child continues to grow, certain oral habits they had during the early years can affect the quality of their smile as a teen.
NOTICEABLE CHANGES DURING PUBERTY
Hormonal levels increasing
During puberty, hormone levels increase. As a result, a person’s body and voice start to change. Teens may also have a heightened sense of awareness regarding their image and appearance.
Both boys and girls may experience symptoms of gingivitis and gum sensitivity as a result of fluctuating hormonal levels.
For young women, oral health may be affected in a specific way. As the level of hormones shift during the advent of the menstrual cycle, the possibility of developing gingivitis increases. A condition called “menstrual gingivitis” usually occurs right before a girl’s period and generally clears up once that monthly occurrence has passed.
Increased risk of serious dental conditions
When left untreated, puberty-influenced gingivitis can cause more serious dental issues like periodontal disease. This condition occurs when infection spreads throughout the mouth and affects teeth, gums, and surrounding bones and tissues. Some teenagers may also start to develop unhealthy habits like smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, both of which increase the likelihood of oral diseases and other health complications.
Changes in mouth and bite structure
Teenagers’ permanent teeth develop during this time. At the end of early childhood, primary teeth fall out and a permanent set appears. Various changes to the mouth may result in an uneven smile or bite and require orthodontic treatment.
In addition to changing hormones, a teen’s smile is also largely influenced by health care routines and eating habits. Teens who drink alcohol and/or eat lots of sweets may experience more mouth problems. Those who practice good oral hygiene are less likely to develop oral health issues. In this stage of life, it is important to check your child’s diet and habits and make any necessary interventions.
A teen’s oral health habits will influence their adult smile. Prevent serious dental conditions with regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning and X-rays. Cosmo Dental Centre in London, Ontario provides needed dental services and oral health care guidance. Call us today at (519) 659-2767 and keep smiling!