Home » How Aging Affects Your Dental Health (and How to Deal with These Changes) 

How Aging Affects Your Dental Health (and How to Deal with These Changes) 

Senior years can be amazing: retirement, more free time for hobbies and family, a nice home, loving partners and friends, etc. However, with age comes some not so pleasant changes to your body, some of which greatly affect your dental health, causing you to need a dentist in Colts Neck NJ, or a dentist wherever you are based. So how age affects your smile and how can you keep your pearly whites dazzling for longer?

Medical conditions

With age come various medical conditions, some of which are linked to deterioration of oral health in patients. Diseases like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular issues can trigger dental problems. Type 2 diabetes often comes with age, and it can affect many conditions in the mouth due to its negative effect on the human immune system. On the other hand, poor oral health can aggravate your current medical issues, so it’s important to take good dental care throughout your life. For instance, there’s a scientific link between gum disease and heart disease. People with gum disease even have an elevated possibility of suffering a heart attack. When having your oral exam, make sure to tell your dentist of your medical issues so they can react appropriately. If you’re specifically looking for a dentist Sidcup, there are no shortage of options!

Teeth wear

Every part of our body experiences wear and tear over the years, and your teeth are not the exception. There’s not much you can do to prevent teeth wear over time, but it’s possible to protect your teeth and minimize the negative effects. For instance, it’s not possible to eliminate daily chewing since we need to eat every day, but you can ditch chewing gums. These are also full of sugar that can additionally cause teeth deterioration. It’s possible to minimize strain on the teeth by avoiding foods that are too hard, overly sweet or sour—these can seriously damage your chompers. In case there’s irreversible damage to your teeth, you can also find a reliable dental laboratory and look into crown and bridge restoration. This will give you gorgeous teeth ready to tackle any chewing assignment.

Gum problems

Another common oral issue in older adults is receding gums. This condition causes the gum tissue to pull away from the tooth, exposing the tooth root. Without gum protection, bacteria can easily enter the tooth and cause inflammation and decay. What causes gums to recede? A lifetime of hard brushing, yes, but receding gums are mostly caused by periodontal disease. An early form of gum disease, gingivitis, occurs due to plaque and tartar build-up and it can easily cause irritation and inflammation of the tissue. The severe form of gum disease is called periodontitis and it can even result in loss of teeth. Practices that can put older people at risk of periodontitis are not brushing and flossing regularly, not getting regular dental exams, smoking, diabetes, dry mouth, weakened immune system, etc.

Discoloration

Discoloration is a normal part of aging. With years and years of eating sweets, drinking coffee, tea and wine and eating colorful foods, it’s normal to develop a tint on your teeth. Teeth discoloration is not really a threat to your dental health, but it can seriously affect your confidence. Luckily, it’s never too late to opt for teeth whitening. There are various cosmetic procedures and over-the-counter solutions, but you can also take a natural path to teeth whitening and add more fruit to your diet and ditch colored drinks. Many people have great success from eating strawberries (these are also low in carbs, high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, therefore a great overall addition to your diet).

Side effects of medication

Usually, getting older leads to the use of some sort of maintenance medication. Medicine used for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes can cause different oral issues, most involving the dry mouth. Excessive mouth dryness is not only unpleasant, but it can have serious effects on your teeth. Saliva lubricates teeth, causes them to stay healthy and prevents tooth decay—the lack of saliva has the opposite effect, unfortunately. So if you take any of these aforementioned medications and notice mouth dryness, it’s a good idea to boost hydration. There are apps and reminders that can ensure you’re properly hydrated every day, so don’t hesitate to introduce them to your life.

It’s possible to be deep into your old age and still keep a dazzling smile. With proper dental care, some cosmetic help and a healthy lifestyle, your teeth will stand the test of time.

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