How to Keep Great Oral Health in Your Golden Years
With proper home care and regular dental checkups, your teeth might last a lifetime. And no matter what your age, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy by brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist regularly.
In fact, even if you have no natural teeth left, seeing your dentist is still an investment in your overall health!
As we live longer and healthier lives, our dental health becomes ever more important as it has important affects on our general health, and often reflects our general health. Full set of natural teeth or a full set of dentures, dental health is important.
The problem is that, even with regular brushing and flossing, and visits to your Comfort Dental Centre dentist, you may face new and potentially serious dental issues in your golden years. Wearing dentures, taking medications, and general health conditions are some of the issues seniors face.
Luckily, your Comfort Dental Centre dentist is here to help you meet these challenges successfully.
We’ll look at some challenges to your dental health as you age, and what you and Comfort Dental Centre can do to protect it.
Natural Consequences of Ageing
- While dry mouth does not necessarily come with aging, it nonetheless affects 30% of patients older than 65 years and up to 40% of patients older than 80 years.
- Increased gastric pH can accompany aging and lead to acid reflux that can be damaging to teeth.
- Loss of nerve sensitivity with age can hide dental issues that need early detection. Elderly people might just not feel developing tooth problems.
- Among the elderly, there is an increased incidence of mouth, throat, tongue cancers and dentists need to be aware of this risk. The average age of diagnosis is 62 and rates go up 7 times for those over age 65; meaning that vigilance is important.
- Elderly patients might have heart conditions artificial joints, or implants, and so require antibiotics to reduce their elevated risk of infection during dental work.
- Finally, simple things increase the risk of cavities due to gum recession, and an elevated risk of gum disease, which can lead to infection and/or tooth loss.
Conditions That Can Be Caused or Complicated by an Oral Infection Like Gum Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Weight gain
- Alzheimer’s and dementia
- Cardiovascular disease including stroke, heart attack, infective endocarditis, and thickening of the arteries
- Bacterial pneumonia
- Rheumatoid arthritis
What You Can Do to Fight Back!
- Drink fluoridated water and use fluoride toothpaste; fluoride provides protection against dental decay at any age.
- Careful tooth brushing and flossing to reduce dental plaque can help prevent periodontal disease.
- See your dentist regularly, even if you have no natural teeth or have dentures. Professional care maintains the overall health of the teeth and mouth and provides for early detection of potentially threatening conditions.
- Limit alcohol consumption. A high level of alcohol consumption is a risk factor for oral and throat cancers.
- Avoid tobacco. Tobacco used in any form—cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco—increases the risk for periodontal disease, oral and throat cancers, and oral fungal infection). Alcohol and tobacco used together are the primary risk factors for these cancers.
- Get dental treatment before cancer chemotherapy or radiation to the head or neck. These therapies can damage or destroy oral tissues and result in severe irritation to the oral tissues and mouth, ulcers, loss of salivary function, tooth decay, and bone destruction.
- Sudden changes in taste and smell should not be considered a normal part of aging, but rather a sign to seek professional care.
- If medications (or anything) produce a dry mouth, drink plenty of water, chew sugarless gum, and avoid tobacco and alcohol.
Body, Mind, and Mouth
Getting older is not simple, and neither is proper dental health as we age. But dental health is critical because studies show that good dental health is associated with good overall health and bad dental health is linked to diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Now, working with Comfort Dental Centre you can begin, today, to build a future with better oral and overall health!
Convenience, Care, and Commitment at Comfort Dental Centre Buderim
Our goal is to provide the highest quality of cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dental care, in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, with a commitment to excellent customer service. We offer this level of service to all customers, and can individualise treatments as appropriate for younger or older patients. From youth to maturity, our team is unlike any other health care office you have visited!
We are conveniently located on Wises Road near the Sunshine Motorway with convenient parking and we are open six days a week!