After working hard, you want to enjoy your golden years, and while good physical health is important, so is your oral health. Thanks to clinical studies, we now know the link between overall health and oral health is much closer than previously thought. As we get older, it’s even more important to think about how to maintain good dental health and especially as you become more susceptible to developing dental diseases and other diseases.
How Can Ageing Affect Your Oral Health?
Ageing can affect your oral health in several ways that include cavities and tooth-root decay, and especially if your gums have begun to recede. Gum recession can occur because of gum disease (periodontal disease) in Whitby and which unfortunately is very common. As you age, your tooth enamel can become thinner which is why older people often have teeth that look darker and more stained. As the enamel thins, it exposes more of the natural colour of the tooth underneath in the dentin. Also, thinning tooth enamel increases tooth sensitivity to temperature change, so it may be more uncomfortable to drink hot or cold beverages or to eat or drink anything very sweet or sour.
Another problem is dry mouth and especially as people tend to need more medications as they age. Dry mouth or xerostomia in Oshawa is a common side-effect of over-the-counter and prescription medications. Being unable to produce enough saliva increases the risk of dental disease because saliva is a protective fluid. When your mouth is drier, it can be very uncomfortable, making it difficult to chew food properly and it is trickier to wear dentures comfortably.
Reducing the Impact of Ageing on Your Dental Health
Good preventative care can help you maintain an optimal level of dental health. Regularly visiting your dentist in Ajax is essential, and when you come and see us, we can assess your dental health and we will discuss your medical health. We must review your medical history in case of medical issues or medications that may affect your oral health. If there are, we can tailor your treatment plan to reduce their impact on your dental health.
If dry mouth is a problem, we can suggest ways to combat this issue, perhaps by using artificial saliva substitutes or even by taking simple measures such as making sure you drink plenty of water, sucking on ice cubes or chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva flow. Sometimes it can be worth discussing the problem with your GP as they might be able to suggest alternative medications or can adjust your dosage. You should always consult your doctor before changing your medication in any way.
Taking Care of Your Teeth
It’s essential to have a good oral care routine at home and includes twice-daily brushing and once-a-day flossing. Some people like to use a mouthwash, and if so, make sure you choose one that is alcohol-free and which is antimicrobial so it helps kill bacteria and control plaque between your regular dental checkups and professional dental cleanings here at Margolian Dentistry. Some people as they age will find they have less dexterity and it is trickier to hold a toothbrush comfortably. Using an electric toothbrush can help because they do most of the work for you and the larger handle is easier to grip.
Coping with Tooth Loss
If tooth loss is an issue, there are modern solutions to help you and you don’t necessarily need to wear dentures. For example, dental implants to restore missing teeth and implant treatment is very versatile. Dental implant teeth can look and feel very natural and are strong and stable, and with proper care can last for many years or for life.