A strong oral hygiene routine is vital to keeping teeth strong and smiles bright, regardless of your age. However, there are a number of oral health conditions that people should be aware of as they grow older.
We all want a bright and healthy smile, but sometimes, as we get older there are oral health issues that arise. To help prevent oral health problems from occurring as you get older, here are a few conditions to be aware of, and some actions you can take to keep your smile healthy.
This is a relatively common condition in older adults. Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands are unable to make sufficient saliva to keep your mouth wet. It can be caused by radiation therapy to the head or neck, as well as a number of medications.
It's important to note that those people who suffer from dry mouth face an increased risk of tooth decay.
If you think you may be suffering from dry mouth, speak to your dentist. They can help you to protect your teeth from the effects of dry mouth, and suggest strategies to help you deal with this issue.
Gum disease, (also called Periodontal disease), progresses slowly and gradually, causing damage without you even realizing it. Periodontal disease can cause damage to your gums and jawbone, possibly leading to loose teeth or even tooth loss if left untreated.
Other health conditions associated with periodontal disease include heart disease, stroke, respiratory problems and diabetes.
Signs of periodontal disease include:
- tender or swollen gums
- receding gums
- loose teeth
- bite changes
- changes in the way dentures fit
- bad breath
- bad taste in the mouth
Make an appointment to visit your dentist if you have any of the symptoms listed above.
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.
A healthy mouth may help to protect your overall health!
If you smoke, you already know that there are countless reasons why you should quit, your dental health is yet another reason. Smoking can stain your teeth yellow or even brown. Try to quit smoking and visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings to keep your teeth white and your smile bright.
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
As we age, our smile sometimes 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.