Great news in the dental world:
older Americans are keeping their teeth longer than ever before and the average number of teeth people retain into old age is increasing!
Younger generations can look up to you for inspiration in good dental practices!
Even after all these years, you still need to be on the lookout for bad oral health!
Teeth, no matter the age, are always susceptible to tooth decay. Keep up those good dental practices of brushing and flossing twice a day, visiting your dental office regularly, and limiting your sugar intake.
Watch out for dry mouth! Saliva is a body's natural protection against tooth decay, but a lot of medications cause dry mouth. Just because you may not feel thirsty doesn't mean that you don't have dry mouth. Some signs and symptoms of dry mouth include a sticky feeling in your mouth, trouble swallowing, dry throat, dry/cracked lips, a metallic taste in your mouth, and persistent bad breath. Stay hydrated to compete against a dry mouth.
Your gums are important too! If you have gums that are red, swollen, or bleed easily, you may have gum disease, which can lead to bone loss in your jaw and loss of teeth. You can prevent gum disease by keeping up-to-date with your dental visits (dentists recommend two times a year for most people), avoiding smoking, and brushing and flossing twice a day. Those that already have the gum disease (called periodontitis) will require special dental cleanings by the dentist or dental hygienist on a regular basis, which may be more frequent than two times a year.
Oral cancer is something else to watch for...The risk of oral cancer increases with age and there have been links between oral cancer and smoking, alcohol use, and the Human Papilloma Virus. Stay on schedule with your dental visits as the dentist checks for oral cancer signs at every check up.
By the age of 65, almost 30 percent of Americans have lost all of their natural teeth. This could be the result of gum disease, tooth decay, injury, and/or wear from aging. Although losing teeth may seem like a problem for those that are self-conscious, this can also make eating, drinking, and speaking difficult and can actually cause bone loss in the jaw. There are dental options available, like dentures and bridges, that can restore the look and function for those missing teeth. And to prevent tooth loss, take good care of your teeth. ("You don't have to brush all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep!"- Unknown)
Keep up the great work in order to maintain that wonderful smile!
Happy Grandparents Day!
Atkins, A. (n.d.). Fixes for 6 Common Dental Problems for People Over 50. Retrieved July 07, 2016, from http://www.grandparents.com/health-and-wellbeing/health/common-dental-problems
Flanagan, D.D.S., C. (2014, September 04). Celebrate National Grandparents' Day with Dental Care - Cindy Flanagan DDS. Retrieved July 07, 2016, from http://flanagansmiles.com/cosmetic-dentistry/celebrate-national-grandparents-day-dental-care/
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.