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Throughout the years, you’ve certainly had a lot to smile about – from getting married, to watching your children grow into successful adults with kids of their own, to retiring, you’ve always had a reason to beam. And as you get older, you want to make sure you maintain your healthy smile. But how does the aging process affect your teeth? The team at Elmbrook Family Dental understand your question and are here to help. Follow these tips from your premier Pewaukee dentist for a golden smile in your golden years.
What Are The Effects Of Aging On Oral Health?
As you age, your entire body is effected – this includes your teeth and gums. Our team of qualified experts explains more of what aging means for your mouth below:
- Dry Mouth – Growing older can mean a decrease in saliva production for majority of people. Since this lubricant’s job is to remineralize teeth and to protect them from tooth decay, dry mouth can contribute to cavities.
- Attrition – Through regular wear and tear (known as attrition), teeth can become worn, shorter, and can even be more susceptible to breaking, and developing chips, cracks, and infections.
- Disease – Older people are at a greater risk for suffering from oral cancer, and can also deal with thrush, an uncomfortable fungal infection which is exacerbated by dry mouth.
- Root Decay – Many of the elderly have gum disease which can cause the roots of your teeth to be exposed. When the roots are unprotected by gum tissue, they can face the same decay that affects your teeth.
- Periodontitis – Since your gums are vital to oral health and are what hold your teeth, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention advanced gum disease. As time progresses, many seniors have gingivitis that develops into periodontitis – this can lead to the eventual loss of your teeth.
- Tooth Decay – 93% of people over the age of 65 have tooth decay. This common condition causes cavities, infections, and can lead to the need for root canal therapy, and can even damage your teeth so greatly that they have to be removed.
How Can I Take Care Of My Teeth As I Age?
At our practice, we want to make your smile last a lifetime. Follow these tips to keep your teeth healthy no matter how old you are:
- Brush & Floss – Brush gently for two minutes, twice a day, and floss at least once daily.
- Get Missing Teeth Replaced – Missing teeth, no matter your age, are problematic. To keep your entire mouth healthy, ensure you can chew and speak properly, and to make your smile look great, get dental implants from our team.
- Prioritize Dental Wellness – Don’t be resigned to poor oral health. The vast majority of patients over 65 retain their natural teeth, but this can only be true for you if you take care of your mouth.
- Drink Lots of Water – To keep your mouth hydrated and make up for dwindling saliva, drink plenty of water and chew sugarless gum with xylitol – a sugar free sweetener that strengthens enamel.
- Avoid Tobacco – If you’re still smoking or using tobacco products – stop. These are the leading cause of oral cancer and you can take steps to protect your entire body by eliminating this unhealthy habit.
- See Your Dentist – To make sure your oral health is where it should be, visit us at least twice a year for preventive care. We’ll be able to protect you from oral cancer with regular screenings and keep your teeth intact with regular visits.
Now that you know how to take care of your teeth as you enter your golden years, schedule your appointment with Elmbrook Family Dental to keep your smile healthy and beautiful your whole life long!