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older people brushing their teeth in front of a mirror - Look After Your Teeth In Older Age

Why It Is So Important To Look After Your Teeth In Older Age

You need to look after your teeth in older age! While ageing can take its toll on all areas of the body, the teeth can often bear much of the brunt, unless they are looked after very carefully. Decades of eating, drinking and general wear and tear can lead to deterioration in our later years. Limited mobility can make it harder for older people to brush their teeth quite so thoroughly, as well as get to regular appointments with the dentist and hygienist.

However, all is certainly not lost and there is plenty that can be done to improve dental health and strengthen teeth and look after your teeth in older age or at any age. Gone are the days when older age automatically meant dentures, crowns and veneers.

 

Prevent Dry Mouth With Dental Care In Older Age

There is a greater understanding now about various physical conditions experienced in older age. These include dry mouth – a common side-effect associated with taking a number of medications. Dry mouth leads to less saliva being produced. This can harm the teeth and exacerbate bad breath and swallowing difficulties. Drinking more water and chewing sugar-free gum can alleviate symptoms of dry mouth and help protect older teeth by washing away harmful bacteria and dislodging food remnants from hard-to-reach places.

 

Be Aware Of Gum Disease

Another risk to older teeth is gingivitis, or gum disease. This can cause gums to become infected or inflamed. This can seriously compromise teeth and cause them to fall out. Regular dental appointments for old people can help spot early symptoms and stop the progress of gum disease from becoming a serious concern, and help support dental care in older age.

 

Avoid Tooth Decay And Cavities With Good Dental Care

Next, tooth decay can be just as serious an issue and threat to dental care in older age as it is for younger people. Poor brushing and flossing routines lead to bacteria staying on the surface of the teeth and causing plaque and decay. Eventually, this will progress far enough for cavities, or holes to form in the enamel and layers underneath.

Cavities need to be dealt with immediately, as they can spread deeper into the teeth, gums and roots, causing a lot of pain and gum disease. Again, regular brushing and flossing, along with routine dental visits and sessions with the hygienist can help you keep control of your oral hygiene and spot the early signs of tooth decay and cavities before they become too advanced.

 

Look After Your Teeth In Older Age - old man in a virtual dental appointment because of dental pain

Reduce The Risk Of Oral Cancer

Another area of health and well-being that can cause more problems as we age is the onset of cancer-related conditions and symptoms. Oral cancer is no exception and regular dental checks are essential to look out for suspicious signs and concerns. Your dentist is extremely well placed to spot warning signs and diagnose oral cancer, as well as help you find the right medical help to provide treatment and support. For example, two major contributing factors to oral cancer are heavy smoking and drinking excessive alcohol. Your older age dentist will be able to advise you on these risk factors, as well as signpost you towards specialist medical assistance if you wish to cut down on smoking or drinking or change other damaging habits

 

Dental Care’s Impact On Moving Teeth

Sometimes, our teeth can move around in the mouth as we get older. This is due to our facial features changing or having to have severely decayed teeth removed. When teeth start to overlap each other, this can be a dangerous area for trapped food, resulting in bacteria and decay. Crowded teeth can also be harder to brush. Ask your dentist for recommendations for toothbrushes, flossing kits and kinds of toothpaste that are easy to use and suitable for older people. It is important to maintain a good brushing routine – if you are having difficulties remembering when to brush your teeth, set an alarm or leave yourself a note to remind you.

 

Benefits When You Look After Your Teeth In Older Age

As well as protecting against the conditions and experiences described above, keeping up with a regular, effective dental routine and home, as well as frequent visits to the dentist and hygienist at the surgery, brings many more benefits to older people. It prevents teeth from becoming infected or inflamed, which leads to severe pain and discomfort.

Good tooth care keeps costs lower too, as problems inside the mouth, teeth and gums can be spotted and sorted quickly. Rather than being left to build up and require a far bigger – and more expensive – treatment plan. Finally, untreated gum disease can lead to more serious conditions such as strokes, heart disease and cancer. Improved old-age dental health can help your body fight against these more serious diseases that can become more prevalent in older age.

 

If you are having difficulties with making sure you look after your teeth in older age, or you need a dental practice for your teeth in old age, contact us to see what we can do to support you and your oral health.

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