Changes in Dental Care Needs as We Age
Since you only get one set of adult teeth, you’ll need to understand how dental care needs change with age. And, if you want to keep your teeth, you’ll definitely want to maintain good oral care services. According to information from the WDSF (Washington Dental Service Foundation), approximately 75% of those over 60 have missing teeth. Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised about how gum disease can contribute to tooth loss. And consequently, gum disease can also increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Gingivitis, dry mouth, and sensitivity are only a few conditions that serve to remind us of the importance of dental care. In this guide, we’ll look at some of these conditions, as well as the recommended treatments.
According to the ADA, gum disease occurs when the gum tissue around your teeth becomes infected due to plaque buildup. The initial stage is known as gingivitis, and you can easily recognize it by bleeding and swollen gums.
Like every patient, you should be concerned about gum disease for a variety of reasons. For example, if you’ve experienced years of plaque buildup and poor diet, this can contribute to gum disease. Furthermore, failure to develop good oral hygiene habits early in life can put you at great risk. However, you can greatly reduce your risk of gingivitis by regularly visiting the dentist for the right dental care treatments.
We’re sure this has happened to you before… You’re ready to enjoy that cold serving of creamy ice cream, only to wince at the sharp aftermath of pain. As we age, our teeth can become more sensitive to extreme hot and cold temperatures in the mouth over time. If you have sensitive teeth, there are numerous factors that can serve as the cause. Gum disease, cavities, and worn enamel are your main factors that can contribute to tooth sensitivity. However, if you practice proper dental care, like regular brushing and using a restorative toothpaste, you can eventually reduce sensitivity.
Oral Care for Diabetes
When you have diabetes, your body’s ability to produce or retort the hormone insulin is weakened. As such, you can have elevated levels of glucose (sugar/carbohydrates) in the urine and bloodstream. Whether you deal with Type I or Type II diabetes, your oral health can be affected. Diabetes can bring about a higher risk of gum disease, thrush (a fungal growth in the mouth), and dryness. Fortunately, your general dentist can recommend effective dental care treatments that minimize these risks.
If you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth, you may have a condition known as dry mouth. Dry mouth is primarily a side effect of taking medications, certain illness, or hormonal changes. Consequently, as we age, dry mouth and health issues become more prevalent. If you’ve started experiencing dry mouth, know that root and tooth decay are the biggest concerns. However, with professional dental care treatments from an experienced dentist, you can avoid the risk of infection and tooth loss.
Oral Health Care Tips
Although many of us can become more susceptible to oral health issues as we age, we don’t have to suffer. Below, you’ll find several dental care tips to help you keep your mouth (and body) healthy as you grow older.
- Always visit your dentist regularly.
- Even if you wear dentures, it’s still crucial to routinely have your gums evaluated.
- Brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss your teeth after brushing. Flossing may seem tedious, but it ensures healthier teeth and gums.
- Watch your sugar intake, especially from sources like soda, candy, and starchy snacks. However, if you must indulge, be sure to brush shortly thereafter.
- Steer clear of smoking and chewing tobacco.
- Be sure to drink plenty of fluoridated water.
Age comes with a variety of perils, but poor oral health doesn’t have to be one of them. If you’re looking for experienced and established dental care in the Greater Houston area, consider contacting Dr. Dana Caledonia. Call us today at 713-626-5151.