As we age, the risk of various illnesses increases significantly, which includes our mouth and teeth. However, although we may expect certain negative changes with regards to our oral health, we are far from helpless when it comes to protecting it. In fact, there are people who simply don’t lose their teeth at all during their lifetime. This means that there are always some things we can do to slow down or control any dental-health issues, which has to start with better understanding of what those issues might be and how they are related to our age.
This is considered one of the less serious problems, as it doesn’t necessarily have to pose a threat to your oral health. Nevertheless, this is a frequent issue for the elderly to deal with. Fortunately, there are now some effective, painless and fairly quick cosmetic procedures you can turn to for help with discoloration. Some people even suggest watermelon, strawberries and other fruit for a more natural approach to teeth whitening, but it’s debatable whether they help or hurt. What you should definitely avoid is wine, coffee and cigarettes, as they can stain your teeth. One other thing you have to be extra careful about is using any chemical whitening solutions at home, without professional supervision, since that can do more damage than good.
This is a common problem for the aged. With years, our muscle and bones get worn out and it can cause our bone structure and even our whole face to change and deform, sometimes resulting in teeth loss. If it comes to you losing one of more teeth, look for a reliable dental laboratory to provide you with anything from crown and bridge restorations to full dentures. Make sure you find the laboratory that uses the latest dental technology, offers a wide range of procedures and where they’re used to dealing with even the most complexed of cases. That way you’ll know they’re experienced enough and that you’ll get the quality treatment you deserve.
Periodontal or gum disease is caused by bacteria found in plaque. As they deposit, these bacteria lead to gum irritation, which you don’t even have to feel at first. By the time you start feeling pain, the condition has already advanced, meaning that your gums are already swollen, red and perhaps even bleeding frequently. Unless treated, periodontal disease can result in your gums pulling back, leaving pockets for additional plaque to fill. The disease can go as far as damaging not only your gums, but also bone and ligaments holding your teeth in place, at which point you can actually lose your teeth. This might be one of the reasons that, according to a 2017 study, nearly 19% of the senior population don’t have any of their natural teeth left. It’s hence imperative that you don’t skip your regular dentist appointments. Also, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and in the meantime, you should floss.
While you can go through life with your teeth perfectly healthy, at some point, you might still find yourself in an uncharted dental-health territory due to medications. Some diseases that come with aging, such as hypertension, heart disease or diabetes, will require you to take medicine on a daily basis. It’s precisely this medicine that might cause dry mouth. Even though dry mouth may not sound that frightening, it can be extremely unpleasant and seriously jeopardize your oral health. The role of saliva in protecting your teeth and keeping tooth decay at bay gets diminished along with the amounts of it you produce. To avoid this, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, so that you can control the effect of the maintenance drugs you have to take to some extent.
There are several types of cancer that can develop in your mouth, but also your lips or throat. The most common type is the squamous cell carcinoma. As you age, the risk of it becomes greater, which is why you should consider somewhat adjusting your lifestyle. Mostly, you should limit your alcohol intake, as well as smoking, but you should also make oral-cancer screenings a routine, so that you stay on the safe side and you can react instantly if something does go wrong. It’s also worth mentioning that about three quarters of oral cancer appears in men, making gender another risk factor.
It’s possible that, with good genetics and dental hygiene, you might have great teeth and healthy mouth your entire life. Even if that’s the case, be vigilant about visiting your dentist, so that you can manage anything that might go wrong at any given point.
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