Age affects all parts of our bodies, even our teeth and gums. You and your dentist can work together to minimize problems that develop with age. Regular oral hygiene and regular dental visits will help keep your gums and teeth healthy as you grow older.
Changes to Oral Health Due to Aging
Even though tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it still suffers from wear and tear over time. Chewing and biting place enormous pressures on the teeth and can cause cracks, chipping, and other damage. In addition, some foods that we eat on a regular basis can wear the enamel down. This is particularly true of carbonated beverages, acidic candies, and citrus fruits and juices. Erosion and damage to the enamel make your teeth more vulnerable to decay. It can also lead to sensitivity as dentin is exposed.
Other health issues as you age can have a detrimental effect on your oral health. Some medications or medical treatments can cause dry mouth, which increases your vulnerability to cavities and gum disease.
Keeping Your Teeth Healthy as You Age
Tooth loss is not an inevitable consequence of aging. If you take good care of your teeth and visit your dentist regularly, you can keep your natural teeth for the rest of your life. Some actions to take to maintain your dental health include:
- Brush and floss regularly
- See your family dentist on a regular basis
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Avoid foods that can cause damage to the enamel
If arthritis or other issues make it difficult for you to maneuver a toothbrush or dental floss, ask our periodontist about special tools to make it easier for you to care for your teeth. If you have experienced a change in medication and notice symptoms of dry mouth, be sure to talk to your doctor and dentist about this as well. By maintaining good oral care habits and attending to other aspects of your physical health, you can also help ensure your teeth will remain healthy as you grow older.
Call the office of our experienced and caring team to schedule an appointment today.