As we age, our body changes. This means that the way we care for ourselves has to change accordingly. Here are some of the most common oral health problems that occur as people get older and what you can do to prevent and treat them.
As people get older, they’re more likely to be taking more medication, and a common side effect of many different types of medication is dry mouth. Dry mouth makes you more susceptible to cavities, infection, halitosis, and causes general discomfort. To combat dry mouth and stimulate saliva production, try drinking more water, chewing sugar-free gum, and avoiding alcohol, coffee, and carbonated drinks.
Gingivitis becomes more common as you age, but you can prevent it with proper oral hygiene. Floss once a day, brush twice a day, and limit sugary foods. As you get older, it is a good idea to use an antibacterial mouthwash and make sure you choose toothpaste that contains fluoride.
The sensitivity of your teeth commonly increases as you get older. This is often because our gums recede as we age, exposing parts of the teeth that are not protected by enamel. It’s a good idea to start brushing with an enamel-building sensitivity toothpaste as you get older if you experience tooth sensitivity. If this doesn’t help, see your dentist.
Osteoporosis is common in older people and can cause problems with your jawbone and subsequently your teeth. Make sure that you are getting more calcium in your diet as you get older and follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations.
The best way to prevent oral health issues as you age is to go in for regular dental checkups (yes, even if you wear dentures!) and ensure that you have a good at-home oral health routine and follow it every day. Brush twice and floss once daily, choose toothpaste that contains fluoride, and use an antibacterial mouth rinse.
At Tsawwassen Family Dental, we put customer care first. We’re happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about aging and oral health. Get in touch with us today.