Retirement has many rewards and for those folks of golden years, a flexible schedule and more leisure time is a tremendous benefit. Dental health care should remain a priority for older people because some issues can become greater problems as we age.
The use of community water fluoridation, fluoride toothpaste and oral care products and a greater emphasis on preventive care has helped adults keep their natural teeth longer. This has been a tremendous accomplishment for oral health but it has created the need for more complex dental care considerations than in previous generations. As we age, there is a greater chance of having one or more chronic conditions or diseases which require the use of medications. Be sure to inform your dental professional (hygienist and dentist) of changes or updates in your health or medications to ensure safe and effective treatment.
Periodontal disease, also called “gum disease” is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. It is almost always preventable and can even be reversed when caught in its early stages. Gone undetected and treated it can progress slowly and painlessly overtime. People with diabetes may be more likely to develop periodontal disease. Routine and thorough oral hygiene, paired with regular dental office visits can help control periodontal disease. Notify your dental professional if you see any of the following warning signs:
- bleeding gums when brushing
- gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- loose teeth or teeth that are moving apart/shifting
- change in your bite or the fit of your dentures/partial dentures
- constant bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
Some medical conditions and many medications can cause reduced saliva output or “dry mouth”. Saliva is an important component of good oral health and dry mouth can lead to tooth decay, denture sores and subsequent speech difficulties. For optimal health, be sure to address dry mouth as quickly as possible.
Your Bearable Dentistry dentist will include an oral cancer screening with each regular exam. Oral cancers are more common in smokers and heavy alcohol drinkers. Oral and throat cancer cases in the United States are estimated to exceed 40,000 people this year.
Your Bearable Dentistry dental professionals believe that good oral health is an important part of your overall health. We encourage you to maintain a regular schedule of professional dental care. Make the most of your dental visit by sharing your medical information with the dentist and hygienist. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or discuss any concerns you may have.
Above all, keep the good dental care habits you developed in your younger years.
- brush your teeth gently at least twice per day and floss daily
- drink fluoridated water and use fluoride toothpaste
- eat a balanced diet
- avoid tobacco products
We want you to have a smile that will last your lifetime!