Wouldn't it be great if scientists would someday develop an easy way to minimize the effects of aging on the body? For now, however, we are stuck with the inevitable physical changes and symptoms that come along with the aging process.
Oral health is one area in particular that seniors need to pay more attention to. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that nearly 40% of older adults haven’t stepped foot in a dental office for over a year!
Protect Your Oral Health As You Age
It's a fact that decay and gum disease are more common as you age. Oral cancer also tends to peak after age 60. The good news is that you can help minimize these problems if you follow a few simple steps:
- Don’t overlook proper oral hygiene – Dentists have long known that gum disease may promote heart disease, but the risk for osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke also increase.
- Keep current with dental visits – Semi-annual exams, cleanings (even if you wear dentures), and oral cancer screenings supported by at-home oral hygiene are your most powerful tool for avoiding dental problems.
- Avoid dry mouth – Many medications can cause dry mouth, and as we age our salivary glands don’t work as well either. Saliva plays a major role in keeping your teeth strong and healthy, so stay hydrated with water and use sugarless gum or candy to stimulate saliva.
- Ask about additional fluoride – Many older patients can benefit from increased fluoride as dental problems become more common. Ask your Summerville, SC dentist for recommendations and to see if you are a candidate for topical fluoride applications.
Call Us for More Helpful Advice
At Azalea Dental, we do everything possible to help our senior patients get the dental care they need to live a full and healthy life. If it’s time for your next exam and cleaning, please call us!