Oral Health Concerns Associated with Aging

Oral Health Concerns Associated with Aging

March 19, 2019 General Dentistry

Although aging is a normal part of life, there are so many changes that take place in your body that you might not actually be aware of. To start, wrinkles become more prevalent, you start noticing body aches everywhere and you just don’t have the energy you used to have. One area of the body that people seem to neglect with age is actually their teeth. As a child, it’s normal to visit the dentist every 6 months for an exam, but once you reach adulthood, dental visits become less frequent and then begin to stop altogether. In order to help you maintain a healthy smile for as long as possible, we’ve compiled all the information you need to know about oral health concerns associated with aging. Learn more from your trusted dentist in Oakdale at Al Berger, DDS.

Bad Breath

One of the most common oral health concerns associated with aging is actually just as simple as bad breath. Bad breath is never welcome whether you are the beholder of bad breath or on the receiving end. Make sure you’re not the awkward person in social situations with bad breath by taking these precautions. If you do have bad breath, you should know that this is actually just a side effect of something even bigger going on in your mouth. To start, you need to visit your dentist in Oakdale to find out the underlying cause of your bad breath. Some common causes are dry mouth or periodontal disease.

Another leading cause of bad breath is bad dental hygiene. If you’re not brushing and flossing daily or neglecting your visits to the dentist, it’s possible that you have a build-up of plaque and tartar in your mouth that is causing the bad breath. If you have dentures, it’s possible that you are not cleaning them well enough. It’s possible for plaque to build up on dentures when they are not cleaning properly. This will definitely give you bad breath. Although it’s an awkward topic, if someone has bad breath, make a point to let them know so they can get checked out by a dentist.

Xerostomia or Dry Mouth

Another major change that will take place in your mouth that is due to aging is dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. On average, your mouth should produce about a quart and a half of saliva every day. Salvia’s purpose is to prevent tooth decay, break down food, protect against bad breath and wash away bacteria. If your mouth is too dry, it’s possible that you might be experiencing a range of problems. They can be anywhere from minor problems like discomfort to major problems like cavities.]

The best way to combat your dry mouth is to figure out the cause. Unfortunately, dry mouth can be caused by a medication you take which is why it’s common with aging. Since most people of old age are on some sort of medication, dry mouth is more common. Aside from medications, dry mouth can also be caused by hormone changes, infections, blocked nasal passages, and even allergies. Figuring out the cause of your dry mouth can help you prevent it in the first place. If there’s no way around your dry mouth, make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day.

Cavities

With aging, cavities are a normal part of life. This is because, with age, your teeth begin to break down and lose their enamel, making it easier for cavities to develop on your teeth. This means that the older you are, the more likely you will experience cavities. In order to prevent cavities from occurring in your mouth, we recommend that you cut your intake of sugary foods and drinks as well as those that are high in carbohydrates. It’s also important that you brush and floss your teeth regularly, especially after consuming anything high in sugar. We also recommend using a fluoride mouth wash every night before bed to better protect your teeth.

Tooth Loss

Tooth loss is extremely common with age. Once you reach your senior years, you will find that a good portion of your teeth might already be gone. This is usually linked to smoking, diet, and bad oral hygiene over the years. Make sure that you visit your dentist regularly for dental exams and preventive care. The more preventive care that you take advantage of, the less likely you will be toothless in your senior years. Preserving your natural teeth is a much better option than having your teeth pulled and wearing dentures.

Bad Denture Care

Some patients believe that dentures require less care than real teeth. This is a common misconception that you shouldn’t fall for. In reality, you should care for your dentures just as much as you did your natural teeth. Caring for your dentures means that you keep them clean and do everything in your power to prevent them from damage or discoloration. It’s common for plaque to build up on the dentures which can actually result in gum irritation or full on gum disease.

Tooth Discoloration

While it’s normal for your teeth to darken with age, you can actually prevent most discoloration with proper dental care. If you avoid tobacco products, tea, coffee and soda, your teeth can look great for years to come. You can also invest in teeth whitening to help your smile look younger over the years.

Gum Disease

The last oral health concern associated with old age is gum disease. Gum disease usually takes years to develop but is caused by bad oral hygiene. Make sure you are taking preventive dentistry seriously in order to prevent this horrible disease.

Schedule Your Next Dentist Appointment in Oakdale

If you want your teeth to stay healthy through old age, make sure you take full advantage of the care our dentist in Oakdale can give you. Visit our Oakdale dentist office by making an appointment via phone or our online form.

About the author

Frank Sandoval: