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With regular dental care and great daily habits, you’ll likely have your teeth for a lifetime. As you get older, however, natural changes in both your mouth and basic health can put you at risk of dental issues. Knowing the vulnerabilities that have aging will permit you to effectively manage your oral health care, and stop these dental issues.


Hazards for Tooth and Root Decay

Elderly adults often suffer with dry mouth due to conditions requiring therapy or medications that have side effects. This includes cancer therapy or the use of cardiovascular medications. Irrespective of the reason your mouth is dry, saliva helps neutralize the bacteria and acids that may damage your teeth over time.


If you’re a senior with gum recession, then be aware that exposed root surfaces tend to be milder than tooth decay, and therefore decay more quickly. Based on Oral Health America, root decay can quickly reach the nerve part of your tooth and lead to an infection, or cause the tooth to crack off of the root entirely in severe cases.


By this time, you probably have fillings in your mouth which could be due for replacement. Decay can quickly begin under broken, chipped or leaky dental fillings, so it is important to keep regular dental visits, even if you’re not experiencing any pain.


Risks for Gum Disease

As stated by the Academy of General Dentistry, severe gum disease affects 25 percent of adults between the ages of 65 and 74 years old. If left untreated, this can result in gingivitis (swelling of the gums) and also the more serious periodontitis (inflammation of the bone around the teeth). Diabetics, whose blood glucose levels can make them more prone to disease, are at greater risk for periodontal (gum) disease too.


If you have had one or two teeth removed through the years, remember: You are never too old to get them replaced. Missing teeth can cause surrounding teeth to ramble and make areas around the gumline where food and germs accumulate, making the perfect spot for gum infection to get started.


Regular checkups with your dentist may keep you one step ahead of possible dental issues. These professional cleanings are needed to remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth which can lead to periodontal disease. While you’re at home, brush twice a day using a soft brush. If arthritis restricts your ability to do this, ask your dentist about particular dental aids that make brushing easier. Interdental cleaners and floss holders will also be available if you have trouble flossing between each tooth every day.


Consider using products which focus on the conditions you’re at greater risk for. Fluoride toothpaste can help strengthen your tooth enamel, and fluoride rinses and gels, such as prescription power Colgate Prevident is perfect therapy for patients with higher cavity risk, crown and bridge work and/or orthodontic decalcification.

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Other Good Habits

The dentist chair and the toilet are not the only areas where dental hygiene can happen. Attack dry mouth by staying hydrated. Use artificial saliva products and chew sugarless gum. And talk to your dentist about any medicines you’re taking that may cause dry mouth.

As your physician might have previously advised, eat healthy foods which are low in sugar and high in fiber. The American Dental Association’s (ADA) Mouth Healthy site indicates older adults need 1,000 mg a day of calcium from low carb dairy products to reduce osteoporosis, which can affect the bone surrounding your teeth. .

At length, lower your oral cancer dangers. Since oral cancer is common in older adults, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research recommends eliminating tobacco and alcoholic products, staying from sunlight or wearing sunscreen, and getting your dentist test your mouth for signs of oral cancer.


If you do not mind, it does not matter.” But as you get older, good oral healthcare does matter. By understanding the dental risks that come with aging, you and your dentist can work together to prevent oral health issues so that you may keep your teeth for a lifetime.


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