Oral Health Changes With Age
The process of aging brings many changes, making it even more important to take good care of one’s health. The same is true for teeth and gums. Contrary to what some believe, losing teeth is not inevitable. In fact, when teeth are properly cared for, they can last a lifetime.
Medline Plus explains that certain changes occur slowly over time as the human body ages. Naturally, these changes affect the tissues and bones in the mouth. Consider the following:
- Cells renew at a slower rate
- Tissues become thinner and less elastic
- Bones become less dense and strong
- The immune system can become weaker, so infection may occur more quickly, while healing takes longer
Aside from the changes mentioned above, there are age-related health conditions that directly affect oral health. At some point, it’s likely that individuals will take prescription medications for something, from high blood pressure to pain or depression. Unfortunately, medications are notorious for causing dry mouth, and this places individuals at risk for tooth decay, mouth sores, gum disease and other infections.
Other changes in oral health might be due to inconsistencies in brushing and flossing, not visiting the dentist regularly, smoking and/or a weakened immune system. Therefore, individuals are at risk for dental cavities and advanced decay.
Given these changes, dentists continue to devote ample time educating patients on the importance of regular dental examinations and good oral care at home. It’s important to brush teeth twice each day with a soft-bristled toothbrush using gentle strokes. Toothpaste should be fluoride-based, and approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).
In turn, it’s a good idea to consider the foods and beverages that you consume. Do you drink a lot of soda or other acidic drinks? Do you eat too many sweets or processed foods that cause plaque build-up? Perhaps you smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco. These lifestyle habits place individuals at an increased risk of tooth decay, infection and ultimately tooth loss.
Prevention is Key
At Lawrenceville Family Dental Care, our practice is centered on prevention and education, and we work hard to help patients establish good oral hygiene habits that promote a lifetime of good oral health. While no one is perfect at keeping up with oral care at home, regular dental checkups make a world of difference in helping combat the changes in oral health as we age. As part of a general dental care plan, dental cleanings are vital. Call us today to schedule yours!
Posted on Behalf of Lawrenceville Family Dental Care