A lot of older adults end up forgetting about maintaining their dental health due to lack of time and assumptions that their teeth are alright. But did you know that your oral health is almost as important as the health of your brain or heart?
Bad dental health has been linked up with health problems like pneumonia, diabetes and heart disease. Not treating your dental problems in time can lead to problems with your chewing and eating which in turn will affect your intake of nutrition and your overall health.
How does Age Affect Your Oral Health?
Ageing is a natural phenomenon which occurs in all our body’s organs, tissues and cells. These changes, in turn, tend to naturally affect the rest of our bodies such as the teeth and gums as well. There are, however certain health conditions which are more prominent amongst older adults.
Also the fact that the daily wear and tear has a toll on our teeth as we age and lack of enough nutrition only reduces and slows down the recovery process.
Here are 5 Common Dental Health Problems that Adults can Face:
1. Tooth Crowding
Have you noticed that more and more food is starting to get stuck in your mouth in places where it previously did not? As you get older, your teeth grow and begin to shift.
Tooth crowding is also a major cause of concern as improperly aligned teeth can cause tooth erosion as well as damaging the bone and tissue that supports your teeth. You can opt for teeth braces to resolve this and attain a properly aligned set of teeth.
2. Dry Mouth
Saliva provides a protective film of saliva against tooth decay by keeping our teeth wet. Little to no production of saliva is not a good sign and may be an indicator that your teeth may be at risk. The calcium and phosphate properties which are present in your saliva prevent the demineralization of your teeth.
So how do you know if you have a dry mouth?
Cracked lips, a raspy dry throat or difficulty in swallowing are all signs that you may have dry mouth. You may also notice that you have constant bad breath or a metallic taste in your mouth. Dry mouth can also be caused by smoking, medications or a blow to the head which may damage your salivary glands.
Oral care tips to prevent dry mouth:
- Drink more water to keep your mouth hydrated. You can also take sip of water and keep it for a while in mouth.
- Use mouth washes that are especially available for dry mouth and avoid using mouth washes along with alcohol.
- Excessive intake of caffeine can lead to dry mouth so it is better to reduce its intake.
3. Gum Disease
Gum disease is a condition which occurs due to an infection of the gums and tissues that hold your teeth in place. This happens when there is a buildup of plaque under and along your gum line. Fortunately, mild cases of gum disease can be reversed if have it treated in a timely fashion. Make sure that you brush and floss on a daily basis and practice for good oral health to prevent gum disease before it progresses.
Oral care tips to prevent gum disease:
- Brush your teeth twice a day and do not forget to brush your tongue also.
- You must go for dental check-up in every six months. This will help you prevent gum disease. You can also discuss various treatment options for gum disease in case you detected with it.
- Make sure to floss your teeth daily to prevent and remove the build-up of plaque in your mouth.
- Use the mouth wash to remove the remains of food particles in order to prevent plaque.
Dental cavities happen when the bacteria in your mouth starts to feed off the sugars in your mouth and transforms them into acid which wears down the tooth enamel and can lead to cavities.
Cavities are more prominent amongst older adults they usually tend to suffer from receding gums making cavities a lot more likely to develop at the root of your teeth. Dry mouth also leads to the buildup of cavities a lot more easily, leading to tooth decay.
Oral care tips to prevent cavities:
- You must brush your teeth twice a day and make sure to floss every day.
- Rinsing your mouth with fluoride based mouthwash will keep bacteria away that build cavities.
- Consume teeth friendly and nutritious foods that help improve your oral health. Avoid sugary foods as they contain carbohydrates that sticks on the surface of the teeth.
- You can consult with your dentist for dental sealants (a protective cover) to be applied. This sealant is applied on molars and helps in preventing tooth decay.
5. Oral Cancer
The chances of getting oral cancer tend to increase as you get older and is usually linked to smoking and heavy consumption of alcohol.
Oral care tips to prevent Oral cancer
- Smoking and chewing tobacco must be stopped in case one is addicted to it since by doing this will reduce risk of cancer by one third.
- Start eating cancer fighting foods that contains Vitamin C and calcium.
- Stop consuming excess amount of alcohol as it not only causes oral cancer but also invites several health problems.
Don’t allow avoidable and preventable dental problems to affect your overall health and lifestyle. Brush and floss daily and follow it up with regular visits to your dentist at a minimum of on an annual basis.
Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily and she loves researching and writing about it. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – whether is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!