Aging can present a number of oral health issues that tend not to be as common in younger people. Here, our Surrey dentists share some oral health issues to watch for as you get older, and what you can do to help prevent or treat them.
We all want a bright and healthy smile, regardless of how old we may be. To help keep your mouth healthy as you age, here are a few conditions you should be aware of:
Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease progresses slowly and gradually without patients even knowing there's a problem. If left untreated, this condition could cause damage to your gums and jawbone. In severe cases periodontal disease can lead to loose teeth or even the loss of teeth.
A number of serious health conditions have also been linked to gum disease, including heart disease, stroke, respiratory problems and diabetes. Keeping your mouth healthy through a strong oral hygiene routine and regular visits to your dentist, is beneficial not only to your smile but to your overall health.
Common Symptoms of Gum Disease
- changes in the way dentures fit
- tender or swollen gums
- bite changes
- receding gums
- loose teeth
- bad breath
- bad taste in the mouth
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, make an appointment to see your dentist. Our team of dental professionals at Guildford Heights Dental Centre will work with you to help you to restore good health to your smile.
To prevent gum disease from striking, a strong at home oral hygiene routine is essential, including brushing thoroughly twice daily and flossing once a day. Visiting your dentist for check-ups and cleanings twice yearly, will also help you to prevent gum disease.
Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands don't make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. This relatively common condition can be caused by some prescription medications and radiation therapy to the head.
It's important to note that dry mouth can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay. To help protect your teeth and gums, see your dentist regularly if you suffer from dry mouth. Your dentist will be able to suggest strategies to help you deal with dry mouth and protect your smile.
Smoking can stain teeth like nothing else, turning them yellow or even brown over time. To help reduce your chances of developing oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancers, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and mouth sores or lesions that do not heal (leukoplakia), quitting smoking and other tobacco use is an important step.
If you are a smoker, you already know that there are numerous reasons to quit. Maintaining good oral health is yet another reason to give up tobacco use.
Those who smoke or chew tobacco face an increased risk of developing oral cancer.
Oral cancer screenings can help to protect your overall health as well as your smile. No one knows your mouth as well as you and your dentist. Regular oral cancer screenings done by dentist or hygienist, give your dental professionals an opportunity to thoroughly exam your mouth for early signs of oral cancers.
Restoring Your Smile
Our teeth naturally darken as we age, but some foods and lifestyle choices may also cause teeth to stain or discolour. If your smile isn't as bright as it once was, there are a number of restorative treatments available from your dentist to help lighten your teeth and restore your smile.