Many individuals are well aware of how the aging process affects our physical exteriors. Our abundant, shiny hair gets thinner and straw-like, our skin gets thinner and lacks the flexibility it once had, and so on. Even more important is the fact that aging affects us on the inside as well, especially where our gums and teeth are concerned. The following content lists some of the more common affects that could affect us as we grow older.
Our immune systems tend to weaken with age which makes us more susceptible to certain dental issues and problems including the following:
- dental decay
- dry mouth
- excessive staining
- gum or periodontal diseases
- irritations caused by improperly fitting dentures
- loss of taste
- missing teeth
- tooth wear
- Xerostomia (chronic dry mouth)
In addition to these issues, roughly 25% of all adults aged 65 and older have lost their teeth while the majority of seniors are troubled with receding gum lines. Furthermore, tooth loss is attributed to periodontal (gum) disease and tooth decay. Apart from the clinical or physical changes that occur, there are certain cellular changes that affect our teeth as well. Finally, our oral health can react to certain diseases such as cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and liver diseases as well as diabetes.
At Island Dental Associates, we provide geriatric dental care for our older patients and for those individuals who cannot come to us for regular dental care, we offer state-of-the-art home care. In addition to providing our older patients with in-home care, we will also visit them if they are in assisted living facilities, hospitals, and nursing homes. However, it is also important to practice proper oral hygiene. Consider the following preventative care tips:
- Avoid frequent snacking as this will elevate acid levels in the mouth
- Avoid too many soft drinks, sports drinks, and sugary foods
- Brush teeth twice a day (or more) for 2 minutes at a time and floss at least once daily (this helps to reduce bacteria levels)
- Chew sugarless gum whenever you are craving something sweet (this helps to increase the production of saliva which in turn aids in cleaning the mouth and neutralizes acidity)
- Visit your Island Dental Associates for regular check-ups and the removal of plaque every 6 months
Proper care of your teeth becomes even more important as you age. Don’t risk developing age-related dental problems. Call us today and schedule an appointment for a check-up.