There are a number of oral health issues that become more common as we age. Today our Summerland dentists share some of those conditions and what you can do to protect your oral health as you get older
It doesn't matter how young or old we are, we all want a a healthy smile. That said, as you approach your senior years there are some conditions you should be aware of.
Dry mouth is a condition that occurs when the salivary glands don't make enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. This is a relatively common condition in older adults and can be caused by radiation therapy to the head or neck, and some prescription medications.
It's important to note that those suffering from dry mouth face an increased risk of tooth decay. If you suffer from dry mouth be sure to visit your dentist every six months for an examination and cleaning to help protect your teeth and gums. Your dentist will also be able to suggest strategies to help you deal with the effects of dry mouth.
Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease is another common condition that can become a problem in our older years. This condition progresses slowly and gradually without patients even knowing there's a problem. Left untreated, gum disease could cause deterioration of the jaw bone as well as damaging the gums. In severe cases gum disease can lead to the loss of teeth.
Beyond the direct health of your mouth, gum disease has also been linked to number of other serious health conditions, including diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and respiratory problems. Keeping your smile healthy with a thorough oral hygiene routine and regular visits to your dentist, is beneficial not only to your smile but to your overall health.
Signs & Symptoms of Gum Disease
- bite changes
- changes in the way dentures fit
- tender or swollen gums
- loose teeth
- receding gums
- bad taste in the mouth
- bad breath
If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, make an appointment to see your dentist. The team of dental professionals at Jubilee Dental Centre will work with you to restore good health to your mouth.
To prevent gum disease from striking, a good at-home oral hygiene routine is essential, including brushing thoroughly twice daily for two minutes each time, and flossing once a day. Visiting your dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings twice yearly will also help you to keep your gums and teeth healthy.
It will likely come as no surprise to learn that those who smoke or chew tobacco face an increased risk of developing oral cancer. Regular oral cancer screenings by your dentist or hygienist give your dental professionals an opportunity to thoroughly exam your mouth for early signs of oral cancers, and may help to protect your overall health.
Over time, smoking turns teeth yellow or even brown. Quitting smoking and other tobacco use is an important step in reducing your chances of developing oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancers, gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth sores or lesions that do not heal (leukoplakia).
You already know that there are numerous reasons to quit smoking. Maintaining good oral health is yet another reason to give up tobacco use.
Restore Your Smile
Teeth naturally darken as we age, but some foods and lifestyle choices may also cause teeth to stain or discolour. If your smile isn't as bright as it once was, there are a number of restorative treatments and cosmetic dental services available at Jubilee Dental Centre to help lighten your teeth and restore your smile.