Whatever your age, a strong oral hygiene routine is vital to keeping teeth strong and smiles bright. That said, there are a number of oral health conditions that people should be aware of as they age.
No matter how old we are, we all want our smile to look bright and healthy, but sometimes, as we get older there are oral health issues that arise. Here are a few conditions to be aware of, and some actions you can take to help prevent oral health problems from occurring as you get older.
One relatively common condition in older adults is dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands are unable to make sufficient saliva to keep your mouth wet. This condition can be caused by radiation therapy to the head or neck, as well as by some medications.
Individuals who suffer from dry mouth face an increased risk of tooth decay.
Speak to your dentist if you think you may be suffering from dry mouth. Your dentist can help you to protect your teeth from the effects of dry mouth, and suggest strategies to help you deal with the condition.
Gum disease, (also called Periodontal disease), tends to progress slowly and gradually, causing damage without you even realizing it. If left untreated periodontal disease can cause damage to your gums and jawbone, possibly leading to loose teeth or even tooth loss.
Health conditions including heart disease, stroke, respiratory problems and diabetes have been linked to periodontal disease.
Some signs of periodontal disease include:
- bite changes
- changes in the way dentures fit
- bad breath
- bad taste in the mouth
- tender or swollen gums
- receding gums
- loose teeth
If you have any of these symptoms, be sure to make an appointment to visit your dentist.
A strong oral health routine that includes brushing thoroughly twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings twice yearly, helps to fight periodontal disease.
Remember that a healthy mouth may help to protect your overall health!
The fact is that, smoking can stain teeth like nothing else. Smoking may even stain your teeth yellow or brown. To keep your teeth white and your smile bright, quit smoking and visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
Oral cancer can be difficult to detect in its early stages, and adults who smoke or chew tobacco have an increased risk of developing oral cancer. Quitting tobacco use and visiting your dentist regularly for oral cancer screenings are key to protecting your overall health as well as your oral health.
Restoring a Healthy Smile
Sometimes as we age, our smile doesn't look as healthy as it once did. There are a number of restorative treatments available from your dentist to help restore the look and function of your smile. Veneers, dental bonding, crowns and bridges are all available to help make your smile bright again.