As we grow older, we are vulnerable to many medical conditions and concerns. Taking care of our mouth and teeth is an important step to preventing problems, and knowing what you should watch for as an older adult can help you keep smiling for years to come! Today, in the last article in our series on ages and stages of dental health, we’ll be discussing the specific oral health concerns of seniors. Read on to learn more, and contact a Dental Centre near you to make your next appointment!
Gum disease is a serious concern for everyone as a leading cause of tooth loss, but older adults should be extra cautious. The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is reversible, but if left untreated, it can progress to a much more serious stage. Make sure you watch for receding gums, a key symptom of gum disease, and do what you can to avoid risk factors like tobacco use, poor brushing habits, and/or poorly fitted bridges or dentures. You can also fight against the possibility of periodontitis by finding a toothpaste with an increased amount of fluoride to protect your teeth and investing in an antibacterial mouthwash to fight the buildup of plaque.
For a long time, tooth loss was considered inevitable as we age. Now, there are plenty of steps you can take to keep your natural teeth throughout your life! You should focus on properly caring for your mouth and teeth through regular dental checkups and thorough brushing and flossing routines. As an older adult, one factor to watch for is medications that cause dry mouth — your saliva helps keep plaque and infections at bay, and unaddressed dry mouth can increase your risk of tooth decay and other oral health problems.
If you do lose teeth despite your efforts, the good news is that there are several methods of replacing them so you can eat, speak, and smile just as comfortably as you did before. Popular options include implants, bridges, and dentures, all of which replace your missing teeth for improved function as well as aesthetics, preventing your other teeth from moving into the open space and disrupting your bite.
Remember — if you do invest in a replacement for your missing teeth, you need to care for that replacement like you do the rest of your mouth. Ensuring a proper fit for whatever method you choose is an important first step, since a bad fit can cause further oral health problems rather than solving them. You should also remember to continue visiting your local dental office regularly to ensure the rest of your teeth last and your overall oral health is properly monitored.
Learn More From the Dental Centres
The team at your local Dental Centre can help you stay informed and healthy throughout the years. Find a location near you, and contact us to schedule your next appointment. We’re here to talk through any concerns you may have and provide important services from check-ups and teeth cleaning to dental implant fittings and installations. Call us today to continue your path of superior oral health!