Did you know that periodontal (gum) disease, cavities, and oral cancer are all more common later in life? And we all thought cavities were just a childhood problem! Taking care of your oral health and having good oral hygiene are important as you get older. Here are some tips from your dentist on protecting your oral health as you age.
Periodontal Health Affects Your Overall Health
Did you know that patients with periodontal (gum) disease are more likely to have heart disease? Emerging information over the years has shown us an unmistakable link between the bacteria that causes gum disease and that which causes issues like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
The bacteria that causes gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to other areas of the body and contribute to these health concerns, and vice versa.
Routine checkups with your dentist are your best defense against periodontal disease.
Your Diet Affects Your Oral Health
Many older adults don’t get enough calcium or vitamin D, which are both important for bone health and protecting your teeth. Limiting your sugar intake is also critical for preventing tooth decay.
Be Aware of Dry Mouth
Saliva is essential for washing away excess food debris after meals and remineralizing, or rebuilding teeth that have been affected by tooth decay. Certain medications and aging can cause dry mouth, which increases your risk of developing gum disease and cavities.
Drinking water and certain mouth rinses can help to reduce or eliminate dry mouth.
Use an Electric Toothbrush
It can sometimes be challenging for seniors to brush their teeth due to arthritis and other muscle issues. Using an electric brush takes the guesswork out of brushing as the brush does most of the work for you. Hygienists report less plaque buildup in patients who use an electric brush as opposed to those who don’t.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Even if you wear dentures, you should be visiting your dentist at least once a year to ensure the health of your gums, jawbone, as well as the condition of your appliance.
Patients who have their natural teeth should be visiting the dentist every six months, or twice per year. Your dentist can detect any concerns early on, which allows them to maintain your oral health with less invasive treatment procedures.
It’s important to find a dentist you can build a relationship with now and for your future needs so you can focusing on maintaining your oral health during your golden years instead of repairing teeth.
About the Author
Drake and Voto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is led by Dr. Jayson Voto and Dr. Hill Trammell. These talented dentists combine their skills and expertise to offer patients exceptional dental care in Owasso, OK. Patients love the comprehensive care they receive in a warm and welcoming environment.
To contact Drake and Voto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, call 918-272-5381 or contact us through our website.