The older we get, the more attention our teeth need. Specifically, those of us that are 65 years or older need to be particularly careful when it comes to dental health. Geriatric dentistry can be difficult because of other health issues that aging can present. For example, dementia, diabetes, and lack of mobility are all common issues associated with aging that can take a toll on an individual’s dental health.
As we get older, we are more prone to issues such as dry mouth, gum disease, dental caries, and tooth loss. It is crucial for this age group to seek out consistent and professional dental health care.
Geriatric dentistry can be preventative. It has been proven that there is a connection between heart and gum disease. Maintaining a healthy mouth can help to cut down on your risk of heart disease or a heart attack. Bad oral health, specifically in older adults, has also been linked to pneumonia. Periodontitis (gum disease) can also limit the body’s ability to use insulin. This can lead to diabetes. Good oral care can limit the risk of all of these conditions.
As we age, so does our dentin and tooth enamel. Because of this, we often see staining, darkening, and yellowing of the teeth as we get older. Regular dental visits can help cut down on tooth discoloration.
If you are over the age of 65, it is important to brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least two times per day. It is also important to utilize toothpaste with fluoride and it is recommended that you use an electric toothbrush. A healthy diet and cutting out smoking are also productive ways to optimize your oral health. Drinking tap water for the benefit of added fluoride is very important as well. And of course, seeing your dentist regularly is crucial.
If you or a loved one is in need of geriatric dentistry, call us today. Our office is expertly trained and skilled to help preserve and restore your dental health and to meet all of your dental needs.