Because we are keeping our teeth far longer than ever before, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene and be aware of age-related risks that threaten the optimum health of our teeth. With vigilance, oral health tips and routine dental care, Dental Design Studio can help ensure healthy smiles for later in life.
Gum Disease Can Lead to Tooth Loss
Your gums can become more susceptible to gum disease as you age. Untreated gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, a more severe and destructive form of gum disease with can lead to tooth loss. To fight against gum disease, it’s important to brush twice daily, floss each day to clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet to maintain overall health, and schedule regular hygiene appointments.
The Problem of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is a lack of adequate saliva production that can make your mouth dry. Saliva is highly beneficial for our mouths. Without it, your teeth are at greater risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging, but many medications taken later in life can result in the side effect of dry mouth. It’s important to consult with your physician on these issues and tell your dentist about any medications you are taking.
To ward off dry mouth, you can increase the amount of water you drink throughout the day. You may even wish to chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production. Drinks that exacerbate dry mouth symptoms include coffee, tea, alcohol, soda, acidic fruit juices and energy beverages. With severe dry mouth, we may also recommend fluoride varnish or special antioxidant mouth rinses, gels and toothpastes, to further protect your teeth from decay.
Oral Cancer Risks Increase
As we get older, the risk of oral cancer may also increase. Oral cancer is associated with alcohol consumption and tobacco use, however, everyone should have your mouth screened, even if you don’t smoke or drink. Symptoms of mouth or throat cancer can include sores that bleed easily or are difficult to heal, lumps or hard/thick spots, crusted areas that don’t heal, numbness or pain, mouth tenderness or a difference in your bite. Our dental staff will look for signs of the disease in order treat them in the early stages, a time when cancer can be treated more easily.
The Problem of Crowded Teeth
The shifting of teeth can lead to crowding as we age, which makes your mouth more difficult to keep clean. Crowding also puts added stress on the teeth and gums. You can maintain the health of your smile by having more frequent hygiene appointments. In some cases, orthodontic treatment may be required to correct the crowding of the teeth.
Tooth sensitivity is a common issue, with pain or discomfort from hot or cold foods and drinks. There are several possible reasons for sensitivity, including cavities, broken teeth or leaking fillings, worn tooth enamel, or exposed tooth root.
Dental Design studio can help with these issues. We frequently recommend sensitive toothpaste or a more personalized treatment plan based on the cause of your tooth pain. Routine oral hygiene may help in preventing and dealing with tooth sensitivity.
Be Part of the Change, Share This Information & Get Screened
Share this information with the people you care about. Your aging family members need to be aware of these increased risks. Even those under the age of 50 need to prioritize your dental health and get screened for oral cancer along with routine hygiene appointments and dental evaluations. The better your teeth are maintained when you are younger, the easier it may be to maintain the health of your smile as you age.
If you have questions about age-related dental risks or other dental concerns, be sure to contact our staff. Make an appointment so we can help keep your teeth at their healthiest for many years to come!