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Your Guide to Maintaining Healthy Teeth and Gums With Age

senior dental patient

It’s no secret that our bodies undergo various changes as we age. This applies to your oral health as well. As you age, various factors like health issues, medications, diet and lifestyle habits can affect your oral health and increase the risk of dental problems. This is why taking care of your oral health over time is very important. 

Certain changes that take place in our bodies as we age are: 

  • the immune system becomes weaker, meaning infection can occur more quickly and long healing times
  • cells renew at a slower rate
  • tissues become thinner and less elastic 
  • bones become less dense and strong

However, with proper care, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy even as you age. Want to learn about how you can enjoy good oral health at any age? Keep reading because as we dive deeper, you’ll be able to understand more about common oral health problems and what you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy in your later years. 

Common Oral Health Problems 

Most of these oral health problems you may encounter are, fortunately, easy to address or prevent with timely dental assistance. 

Tooth Decay & Cavities 

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems. It happens as a result of the build-up of plaque on your teeth. When our teeth are exposed to sugars in foods and drinks, the acids in bacteria that settle on your teeth can erode the tooth’s enamel. This then leads to tooth decay and cavities. 

Dry Mouth 

Dry mouth occurs when your mouth stops producing enough saliva. Saliva is important because it helps wash away food particles from your teeth, keeps bacteria under control, and helps in chewing, swallowing and digesting food. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of certain medication, age, dietary habits, or even other health problems like diabetes. 

Gum Disease 

Gum disease is another common dental condition. It occurs when the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth gets infected. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease which, left untreated, can escalate to a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. Gum disease can also cause receding and bleeding gums, bad breath, and sensitive teeth. If left neglected for long enough it may even lead to tooth loss!

Wear and Tear

Years of biting, chewing and grinding can wear down the enamel layer that protects your teeth. This will weaken your teeth, making them prone to sensitivity and damage from tooth decay and cavities. 

In addition to the dental conditions mentioned above, you may also experience loss of teeth, sensitivity in teeth, and difficulty eating. However, as we already mentioned, these dental conditions are preventable. If you take good care of your teeth and gums, you’ll be able to reduce the risk of these problems and maintain good oral health. 

Our Best Oral Health Tips 

We now know the common dental problems you can face as you age. Next up, let’s take a look at what you can do to keep your teeth and gums in optimal condition. 

  • Brush your teeth twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste to clean your teeth from sugars, starches, and plaque. 
  • Floss at least once daily to clean and remove plaque from hard-to-reach areas. 
  • Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce the buildup of plaque. 
  • Be mindful of what you eat and drink, and limit intake of sugar as it can increase the risk of tooth decay and cavities. 
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
  • If you wear dentures or any other oral appliances, take good care of them by cleaning them daily and storing them appropriately.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a checkup and professional cleaning. This will help identify potential dental problems and address them early on. 

We get it! Staying on top of your oral health may be more challenging than it sounds, especially as you age. But, no matter how hard it is, proper care of your teeth and gums is important if you want to maintain good oral health. Remember, good oral health is also important for your health and wellbeing. 

If you want to know more about how to care for your smile or to schedule a checkup, reach out to our dental professionals at Port Melbourne Dental. We’re here to help and make sure you keep your teeth healthy for years to come.