Dental Hygiene and Aging

By June 26, 2019 May 7th, 2021 No Comments

There are many changes the body goes through as you age, including changes to your teeth. It’s true that modern humans have several advantages over our ancestors that enable our teeth to stay healthy and last longer — such as dental technology, advanced medical research, and better access to dental care. But, despite these advances, our teeth still undergo major changes as we grow older. Here are some of the major changes that happen.

Wear and Tear

On the outermost part of your tooth is something called enamel. Over time, this enamel gets worn down and there are certain types of foods that can expedite that process. Acidic foods, for instance, will (on a long enough timescale) wear out the outermost part of your enamel. This happens even to those who are very diligent about the upkeep of their teeth.

When you lose enamel, your teeth take on the appearance of being stained even though they aren’t. They also become easier to stain. For those who have tried teeth whitening techniques, even professionally administered ones, and still can’t seem to get certain stains out, it may be time to look at veneers. Wear-and-tear has a major impact on the overall aesthetics of your teeth!

Gum Disease

Far too few people understand the overall health problems caused by gum disease. Your teeth play a major role there. gum disease happens as plaque accrues along the gum lines. Plaque is ridden with bacteria and becomes a major breeding ground. It causes your gums to recede, weakening your teeth, and causing tooth infections. Since the bacteria are in your mouth, which is connected to every other area of the body, it can easily cause infections in your heart and lungs. Those with compromised immune systems must be very careful about their overall gum health.

The more plaque that builds up, the worse the problem gets. Not only will the bacteria erode your gums, but it can also damage your jaw bone. This makes it more difficult to install dental implants later.

Signs of gum disease include excessive bleeding, receding gums, and bad breath.

Dry Mouth

Have you ever wondered why your grandmother was always carrying hard candies around with her? The older you get, the more likely it is that your mouth will be dry. The hard candies stimulate saliva which causes the moisturization of the mouth. Having a dry mouth is very bad for your teeth. They increase the chances of tooth decay, increase the scope of gum disease, and the problem gets worse the older you get.

Tobacco Use and Oral Cancer

In case you needed another reason not to smoke, the older you get, the higher your chances of developing oral cancer go. Additionally, tobacco dries out your mouth. If you smoke now, it’s important to quit before you age further and your problems get worse.

Make Sure Your Dental Hygiene Habits Improve with Age

Much like fine wine, your dental hygiene habits should improve with age. You need to be more aware of your gum health as this can have a profound impact on the health of your teeth and your overall body. You need to make sure that you’re brushing after meals and flossing at least once a day. You should go to the dentist for periodic check-ups.

Beware of Your Medications

Certain medications can have a negative impact on the strength of your teeth and gums. It only becomes more important as you age to pay close attention to your overall dental health and be sure you employ a regimented schedule of dental upkeep.

Mouth and Body

As stated earlier, your mouth is connected to the rest of your body. If you have gum disease, your chances of experiencing diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and respiratory problems increase dramatically. These are all redoubled in those who also smoke.

Schedule An Appointemnt at Peak Family Dental Care

It’s never too early (or too late) to begin taking care of your dental hygiene. Peak Family Dental provides a wide range of services to those of all ages. If you’re worried about gum disease, your chances of preventing major tooth loss go up astronomically if you handle the problem early. Talk to us today at (928) 284-1091 to schedule an appointment!

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