There are a number of conditions that people should be aware of when it comes to oral health as they age. Here, our Delta dentist shares some oral health conditions to watch for as you get older and what you can do to help prevent them.
Everyone would like to have a bright and healthy smile no matter how young or old they are, but as we age there are a few oral health conditions that can arise. Here are a few conditions you should be aware of, and some actions you can take to help prevent oral health problems from occurring as you age.
Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease progresses slowly and gradually without patients even knowing there's an issue. If left untreated, gum disease can damage not only your gums but also your jawbone. In fact, gum disease could even lead to loose teeth or loss of teeth.
A number of serious health conditions including heart disease, stroke, respiratory problems and diabetes have been linked to gum disease.
Some signs of gum disease that you should look out for include:
- tender or swollen gums
- receding gums
- loose teeth
- bad breath
- bad taste in the mouth
- bite changes
- changes in the way dentures fit
Schedule an appointment to visit your dentist if you have any of the symptoms listed above.
Brushing thoroughly twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings twice yearly, can help fight gum disease and keep your smile healthy.
Remember, a healthy mouth may help to protect your overall health!
Dry mouth is a relatively common condition as we get older. It occurs when the salivary glands don't make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Radiation therapy to the head or neck, and some medications can cause dry mouth.
Individuals suffering from dry mouth have an increased risk of tooth decay.
Speak to your dentist if you suffer from dry mouth. Your dentist can suggest strategies to help you deal with the condition and protect your teeth from tooth decay.
If you smoke, you already know that there are countless reasons to quit, your oral health is yet another. Smoking can really stain your teeth, turning them yellow or even brown.
To keep your smile looking young, healthy and bright, quitting smoking and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings are key.
Adults who smoke or chew tobacco have an increased risk of developing oral cancer.
In its early stages, oral cancer can be difficult to detect. Quitting tobacco and getting regular oral cancer screenings by a dental professional can help to protect your overall health as well as your smile.
Restoring a Healthy Smile
If you feel that your smile isn't as healthy and bright as you would like, there are a number of restorative treatments available from your dentist to help improve the appearance and function of your smile.