Caring for Your Teeth as You Age

July 2, 2024

Written by Josh Miles

As you age, and your body becomes less resilient, you will find that you are at an increased risk of developing many health complications. People often do their best to try to account for what they think might be the most significant threats to their health. They might think, for instance, of heart disease, brain function, or mobility issues, but one other important aspect of personal health that is often overlooked is oral health. However, because older people have an increased risk of tooth decay, tooth loss, mouth infections and gum disease, oral health only becomes more important as you age. Consider these three challenges you might face in maintaining your oral health as you age, and how you can best meet these challenges.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Adults 65 years and older have the highest prevalence of tooth decay and cavities of any age group. As you age your gum tissue recedes, leaving you especially susceptible to gum disease and to tooth decay in previously covered areas. As you can probably guess, the most important thing that you can do to prevent this is to brush and floss regularly, as well as use mouthwash, which kills the bacteria responsible for cavities. It’s also important to be aware of any changes in the appearance of your gums and teeth, and and to make sure that you are accommodating your dental care routine to your changing mouth.

Whitening

As you age, the dentin inside your tooth often begins to turn yellow. This yellowing can usually be seen through the enamel, leading many people to be self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth. Consuming things like coffee and tobacco is also likely to contribute to yellowing. So what can can you do? Well, there are a variety of dental bleaches and other whitening products available that could help you to get your smile back in shape. However, it’s best to consult with your dentist before you decide on what product is best for you.

Gum Disease

As mentioned earlier, the fact that your gums tend to recede as you age is likely to lead to an increased risk of gum disease. Gum disease is not immediately linked to aging, however the plaque buildup that causes gum disease can worsen over time if left untreated. As this can lead to tooth loss, and a variety of other health problems, the best thing to do is to make sure that you are doing a good, thorough job brushing your teeth, paying special attention to the area where your teeth and gums meet.

No matter what age you are, regular dental check-ups and cleaning are important, but they become especially important with age. Consider a visiting a practice such as Buehler Family Dental, which specializes in treating all age-groups according to their specific dental needs. Dr. Christin Buehler offers a holistic approach to dental care and emphasizes the connection between oral health and overall wellness.

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