3 Dental Issues of the Aging Smile
August 17, 2020
Aging brings on a host of unwanted concerns, from facial wrinkles to weakening joints. However, did you know that your dental health can also reveal certain problems as you get older. In fact, if you are a senior adult, you are at greater risk of facing dental concerns such as dry mouth, shifting teeth and oral cancer. Here’s why these issues matter.
Proper amounts of saliva are critical for optimal oral health. We need spit in order to swallow comfortably as well as rinse away food debris and bacteria from our teeth and gums after we eat. Saliva also helps to neutralize the pH of our mouth, which makes acid attacks on your teeth less likely. If you suffer from a dry mouth, which is a common side effect for several medications prescribed to aging adults, then you are more at risk for tooth decay and even gum disease.
Do you find that food gets stuck in new places as you age? You aren’t crazy. It is normal for teeth to shift slightly as you age. This can create new crevices and gaps for food and plaque to accumulate. It is important to keep up with your oral hygiene routine and regular dental cleanings to avoid consequences of shifting teeth. If your misalignment becomes severe or it affects your jaw comfort, you may need to see an orthodontist.
While you can get oral cancer at any age, your risk does increase as you get older. If you smoke or drink heavy amounts of alcohol, you are especially vulnerable to this serious form of cancer. Remember that your routine dental visits include a quick and painless oral cancer screening, which is yet another reason to keep up with your dental appointments as you age.
While gray hair, aching joints and memory loss may seem like more pressing concerns as you age, don’t neglect what is going on inside your mouth. At Soft Touch Dentistry, we can detect problems such as decay, shifting teeth and even oral cancer at their earliest and most treatable stage. However, you’ll need to do your part and schedule your visit with us! We offer a full menu of dental care services for seniors.
Soft Touch Dentistry
O’Fallon, IL 62269