At a certain age, you become more susceptible to developing some health problems that may not have affected you before now.
A lifetime of wear and tear on your teeth can do a number on your enamel and your gums, so it’s important to know what to look out for when it comes to your oral hygiene. Prevention is the best method to fight against these problems, so identification and prevention is crucial.
Among the many health issues that you have to look out for in your senior years, there are several dental problems to be aware of that can appear as time goes on.
Here are five dental problems that can appear as you age and what you can do to prevent them from happening or becoming worse.
1. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay can lead to cavities, pain, and even tooth loss when left untreated, and it’s often caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar.
You can prevent this by avoiding sugary foods, brushing twice a day, and visiting the dentist regularly. Using an electric toothbrush has also shown to decrease the chance of tooth decay in adults, especially in cases of arthritis and dementia.
It’s essential to keep up a rigorous dental health routine as your teeth age to prevent their loss. At Hamptons Dental, our team can give support and advice about maintaining your natural teeth to prevent the need for dentures or implants further down the line.
2. Gum Disease
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is also a very important problem to look out for. This disease is caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar. Smoking can also play a role in gum disease.
Luckily, gum disease is very easy to treat and prevent. Simply going to the dentist twice a year and brushing and flossing daily is enough to keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come. Brush and floss daily and you’ll have no problem keeping your gums healthy and free of disease.
3. Receding Gums
As you get older, your gums will continuously recede if you have poor dental hygiene or gum disease. This can cause teeth sensitivity and pain, plus eventual tooth loss if not treated.
Prevention is the best cure for this problem, so again, it’s important to keep up your oral hygiene, quit smoking, and cut sugary foods out of your diet.
If you suspect you have receding gums, visit your dentist as soon as possible to address the issue with a variety of solutions such as gum grafts or deep cleanings, depending on how serious the issue is.
4. Dry Mouth
Many individuals experience a lack of saliva as they age. This can be caused by a common syndrome known as ‘dry mouth’, which can be brought on by some common medications.
Some side effects are cracked lips, swollen tongue, and difficulty swallowing. A common way to avoid this is by drinking lots of water, cutting out sugary foods, and chewing gum to allow saliva glands to open.
5. Oral Cancer
Your risk of oral cancer increases as you get older, and people who smoke and drink alcohol are at a higher risk.
Ideally, you should try to prevent these habits from taking over your mouth early on, but see you dentist if you have ulcers, persistent sores, or changes in the colour of your mouth.
It is important to identify this disease as soon as possible for treatment can begin, so make sure that you’re looking out for the common signs of oral cancer, especially if you’re a person who smokes and drinks regularly.
The Bottom Line
As you age, there are many health problems that you have to lookout for. These five oral health problems have warning signs that can be seen and easily treated. All in all, prevention is the best way to beat these issues.