Friday, 12 February 2016
Oral Health and Age – What you Need to Know
As you age so do your teeth. This shouldn't be a surprise when you think that your permanent teeth start pushing through from around the age of eight or nine and they are with you throughout your life, at some point they have to start aging with you.
As you get older, your skin starts to lose elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles start to appear. At the same time your oral health starts to take strain, unless you have a very strict oral health routine in place to ensure that you promote outstanding oral health at all times, which as you age can become harder to do.
What you should know
The first thing you should know is that as you age so does your risk of numerous other illnesses and diseases from diabetes to Parkinson disease to Alzheimer and more. Some of these can make it harder for you to manage a good oral health routine to protect your teeth and some can have an overall negative effect on your teeth.
Remember that certain medications you will need to take can cause the saliva in your mouth to dry up and reduce. You want as much saliva as possible to ensure good oral health. Saliva is alkaline and is there to protect the teeth. Drink plenty of water throughout the day if you are taking medications and ensure you brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
With age comes the increased risk of gum disease, this may be due to poor oral health or other conditions you may have. There are two types of gum disease you need to know about, the good news is that both is treatable and preventable. Gingivitis is a mild to moderate gum disease which can be managed and healed with a good oral health routine at home and a professional clean by your hygienist. Periodontal disease, on the other hand is a severe form of bacterial gum disease which will need further care from your dental professional to remove it and to promote your oral health moving forward.
Self care may start to suffer as you age as your mobility starts to strain and you struggle to hold the toothbrush. It is important that you know when you start to struggle and to ensure that you continue to attend your annual dental appointments, which can make a significant difference moving forward and help you preserve your natural teeth for as long as possible.