Caring for Your Smile as You Age
Just like most of your body, as you age you can become more prone dental issues. Making sure you practice good oral hygiene techniques, lifestyle choices and maintain routine dental appointments can certainly help!
Common Dental Conditions in Elderly Patients
Many of our senior dentistry patients wonder if they are the only one experiencing more dental issues with age, sadly that is not the case. Some of the most common issues elderly patients experience are:
- Tooth Decay – A very common dental condition, tooth decay can cause cavities, oral infections abscesses, and even tooth loss! Practicing routine at home dental care and maintaining a relationship with your dentist can help prevent and treat tooth decay.
- Dry Mouth – For many elderly patients, they experience a decrease in saliva production. Saliva is useful in lubricating the mouth, washing away debris and remineralizing teeth. Without the proper amount of saliva, patients may be more prone to cavities, decay, infection, and disease.
- Gum Disease – Periodontitis (gum disease) is an extremely common oral condition for elderly patients, as many of them age gingivitis progresses into advanced gum disease. This can cause discomfort, inflammation and ultimately the loss of teeth.
Tips for an Aging Smile
- If you smoke, consider quitting, not only does tobacco have a negative impact on your oral health, it can also lead to heart and lung problems along with various forms of cancer (including oral kinds!)
- Be sure to brush a minimum of twice a day, making sure you also floss. If you suffer from joint issues, an electric toothbrush may make it easier to properly perform at-home dental care.
- Eat healthier, avoid sugary foods and beverages. Try to eat more foods containing minerals and vitamins such as vegetables or fruit.
- Be sure to drink enough water; oral hydration is extremely important for saliva production, prevention of plaque buildup and helpful in getting rid of bad breath.
- Most importantly, schedule routine dental examinations and cleanings at Hanley Family Dentistry, we can examine your mouth for signs of decay, disease, infection and even oral cancer!