In previous generations, it was seen as a given that one would lose their teeth as they aged. However, we know now that this does not have to be the case. Of course, it is always important to maintain a solid oral healthcare routine and diligently visit the dentist for preventative care. However, as you age, there are a few special things you can do to make sure you can enjoy a great smile for years to come.
Oral Health Issues to Be Aware Of
As we age, we become more susceptible to certain oral health issues that may not have crossed our minds before. The key to staying in good health, however, is to educate yourself on the areas of your oral health that may need special attention. If you start to experience any of the following issues, you’ll want to contact your dentist right away:
- Dry Mouth – Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications as well as various physical changes in the body. However, when your body does not produce enough saliva to keep your mouth moist, this can cause issues with bacteria buildup, tooth decay, and periodontal (gum) disease.
- Disease — Illness such as oral cancer and thrush are more common with age, which is why regular preventative visits to the dentist are highly important for your oral health. With regular visits you can prevent and treat these issues promptly.
- Root Decay — This is particularly prevalent with those who have receding gums. As your gum recedes, the root of your tooth becomes exposed (which is softer than enamel), and therefore more highly susceptible to decay.
- Attrition — Years of chewing and general wear and tear can have an impact on your teeth. Eventually, your enamel becomes weakened and worn down, leading to a higher risk of cavities.
How to Keep Your Mouth Healthy
Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to boost your oral health and keep your teeth in good shape. Try taking the following steps to prevent the issues mentioned above.
- Quit smoking — Smoking leads to a number of health issues, including gum disease, mouth and throat cancer, heart disease, and more. Chewing tobacco can also have a profoundly negative impact, as the sugar in it can lead to dental decay. Quitting tobacco products entirely will greatly improve your overall health.
- Use antibacterial mouthwash — This is a simple solution for combatting the bacteria that builds up in your mouth and ultimately leads to decay. Using mouthwash (in addition to maintaining a good brushing and flossing routine) can help to prevent plaque buildup, gingivitis, and decay.
- Combat dry mouth — If you’re experiencing dry mouth, discuss your medications with your doctor to see if there is another option that can help. We also recommend chewing sugar free gum and drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated.
- Use additional fluoride — Fluoride is important for strengthening your dental enamel. Be sure that you’re using fluoride toothpaste and consider adding a fluoride rinse/topical fluoride treatment at your dentist to your oral healthcare regimen.
Most importantly, you should make sure you visit the dentist every six months to ensure you’re in good oral health. To schedule your next appointment, call Manus Dental today!