Oral Health and Aging

As we get older, there are many concerns to keeping up ones health, including their oral health. Ensuring that your teeth exist as long as you do is possible with proper oral care such as brushing, using fluoride toothpaste, and flossing, also keeping up with regular dental visits for cleanings and checkups. Dentures, health conditions, and medications are common issues that most aging people face. Even with regular oral care, it is common that there will be concerns and a higher risk of an oral issue.

Here are some things that you should know about your oral health and aging:

Older adults are more prone to cavities and decay on the root surfaces of their teeth. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis along with normal oral health routines, like brushing and flossing can help prevent this.

  • Sensitive teeth and receding gums are common issues and only increase with age. As your gums begin to recede, the areas of your teeth that do not have enamel start to become exposed, leaving them prone to sensitivity. Brushing with sensitive toothpaste can help, along with seeing your dentist. Keep in mind that sensitivity can indicate other issues like cavities or a damaged tooth, so always inform your dentist of any concerns you are having.
  • Medical conditions and medications can impact your teeth dramatically. One of the more common issues is dry mouth, where less moisture is produced in your mouth, leaving it less cleansed and protected. Your dentist can recommend treatments and medications to assist with dry mouth that can help restore saliva production.
  • People over 40 are at a higher risk for Gum Disease, a serious condition that can affect people of all ages. Many things can increase the progression of gum disease and should be taken into consideration. They are poor oral hygiene, a bad diet, stress and other environmental causes, medications, personal choices (smoking, chewing, etc.), other diseases like diabetes and cancer, and medications. Keep in mind, that while gum disease should certainly be taken seriously, the early stages can be reversed and good oral care along with making regular visits to your dentist will ensure prevention, early detection and treatment if need be.
  • Always let your dentist know about existing medical conditions you have. Common senior health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer, can affect your oral health. When your dentist understands your particular situation and needs, they can better recommend treatments and care for your oral health.
  • Seniors often face the need for dentures as they age. If you ever need dentures, it is important to follow your dentist’s recommendations and instructions for your oral health and maintain regular dental visits to prevent issues.

The best way to keep your teeth with you for your lifetime is through good care and regular visits to your dentist. At Valley Dental, your oral health and aging concerns are very important to us. If you have questions or concerns about your oral health, please call us and make an appointment at (315) 698-6880.

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