Aging And Your Dental Health
Healthy Teeth For Seniors
As you grow older, it is more important than ever to maintain your overall body and dental health. One common misconception is that losing your teeth is inevitable as you age and that this deterioration is simply a natural part of the aging process. However, this is not true. With proper dental care, such as seeing your dentist regularly and practicing good oral hygiene habits, it is possible to keep your teeth for a lifetime, even if you live well into your 100s.
As we age, our bodies undergo many changes, and these include changes in the mouth as well. The middle of each tooth contains a nerve, blood vessels, tissue, and supporting structures known as the pulp. As we grow older, this vulnerable area can be more prone to decay or infection due to its reduced ability to heal itself after injury. But by taking measures to protect your oral health from the signs of aging such as staying mindful of what you eat and how often you visit the dentist for check-ups and cleanings, it is possible to keep your teeth healthy well into old age. So remember, with proper care and attention to your overall body health in general and dental health specifically, there’s no need to fear losing your teeth just because you’ve reached an older age.
Three Reasons Senior Dental Health Is Important
Gum Disease Prevention For Seniors
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums and bones that support your teeth. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of food and bacteria that forms on your teeth. If plaque isn’t removed, it turns into tartar (calculus). Once tartar forms, it’s much harder to remove. Plaque and tartar irritate and inflame your gums. This can make them red, tender, and bleed easily. If gum disease progresses, it can destroy the gum tissue and bone that support your teeth; this can lead to tooth loss. Gum disease has also been linked to other serious health problems such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Gum disease is preventable with good oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits.
Gum disease is more common in seniors, so it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms and to practice good oral hygiene habits. If you think you might have gum disease, talk to your dentist right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the progression of gum disease and keep your smile healthy for years to come.
How Dry Mouth May Cause Dental and Other Health Issues In Seniors
A dry mouth, also known as xerostomia (ZEER-oh-STOH-mee-uh), is a condition that occurs when the salivary glands in your mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. A dry mouth is often due to the side effects of certain medications, or it can result from certain medical conditions or treatments. Saliva keeps the mouth wet and controls bacteria, so having a dry mouth can lead to dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. A dry mouth can also make it difficult to eat and speak. In addition, people with a dry mouth are more likely to develop infections in their mouths and throats. If you have a dry mouth, there are treatments that can help relieve your symptoms and keep your mouth healthy. Contact your Dentist in Stuart Fl for a solution.
Age Can Affect Your Oral Health But Preventative Care Is Key
While it is often assumed that age is the primary factor that negatively affects oral health, there are other considerations that must be taken into account. For instance, many medical conditions – such as arthritis in the hands and fingers – can make brushing or flossing teeth difficult to impossible to perform. Some people may simply be genetically predisposed to dental problems, making them more likely to develop cavities or other issues regardless of their age. Additionally, certain drugs – both prescription and over-the-counter – can have a significant impact on oral health, either by causing dry mouth as we have mentioned or by exacerbating existing dental issues. And finally, other factors like forgetting to brush regularly or suffering from health conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s can also play a role in poor oral health across generations. That said, even individuals of all ages must take care to maintain proper dental hygiene practices if they wish to keep their smiles healthy for life.
Contact Stuart Dentist to schedule a regular cleaning appointment and we will be sure to address any concerns related to your teeth as you age. While we are skilled in tooth replacement procedures like Dental Implants we prefer to guide our patients through prevention and preservation when possible. Nevertheless, we are here to help and we welcome new patients.