18 Oct Common Dental Problems in Older Adults
Our bodies gradually age, along with our smile and our teeth. With aging comes potential dental problems, especially if we don’t maintain healthy dental hygiene in our younger years. From tooth decay to the gradual shift in the color of your teeth, here are a few common dental problems in older adults.
As we age, so do our teeth. Our once resilient enamel weakens ever so slightly with the passage of time. Eventually, this leads to tooth decay, which ultimately leads to cavities, infection and tooth loss. Tooth decay is often caused by plaque that has built up due to neglect. The best way to prevent it is to create good dental habits. Brushing your teeth twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste and habitual flossing can go a long way to prevent tooth decay.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is another common dental problem. This is caused by the bacteria that live in the plaque, which causes the gums to suffer from inflammation and irritation. Chronic smoking has also been known to cause gum disease, making them more sensitive and irritated. Thankfully, gum diseases are both preventable and treatable. In worse cases, you need to come to the dentist every one or two months for teeth cleaning. Brushing and flossing daily will prevent gum disease from forming in the first place, and if you or another adult are suffering from gum disease, it would be best to consult with a dentist to discuss a treatment plan.
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As we age, our production of saliva also decreases. In some cases, the reduction is drastic enough to cause dry mouth which can cause discomfort in many people. This common syndrome is known as xerostomia, and it can be problematic because our saliva helps dilute and wash away any leftover sugar and food particles in our teeth and gums. The result is a higher chance of cavities, swollen tongue and difficulty in speaking due to having dry mouth. To combat dry mouth, increase the frequency of drinking water, as well as chew gum to stimulate saliva production.
Your teeth have dentin which also ages as you age. In turn, this will gradually change the color of your enamel from clear white to a darker shade of white. This darkening of the teeth is just a natural byproduct of aging. However, you can consult with a professional to ask about teeth whitening treatments to bring back the shine to your teeth!
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We cannot stress enough the importance of dental health. Maintaining proper dental hygiene can go a long way to a healthier smile. Maintain and enhance your smile here with our dental professionals at Rejuvie Clinic.