When we age, we notice many changes in our body. Cells grow damaged over time, causing them to lose the ability to repair bodily issues as well as they once did. This can leave you with medical concerns, including regular aches and pains. But the effects of aging will also impact your oral health.
Senior dental patients will therefore need more targeted oral health care to protect their smiles from age-related problems. A dentist can perform an oral exam to determine the exact type of preventative treatment you require. But you can feel more confident in your smile as you age when you read on to learn about three specific complications that stem from aging and may affect your teeth and gums.
Medical Concerns Affect Oral Health Care
Because your body loses its ability to repair certain types of damage when you age, you may develop certain chronic health conditions. You and your doctor can manage heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and other concerns. But these diseases can impact your oral health over time.
Many health conditions will create inflammation throughout your body in an attempt to repair damage. But when this happens, you may become more susceptible to infections, including gum disease. This infection of the gum tissue can make your gums bleed, swell, and hurt.
If gum disease progresses without intervention from your dentist, you could face irreversible damage to your smile like tooth loss. You will need a dentist to eradicate gum disease, but you should also seek preventative care to avoid contracting it in the first place when possible. This will entail managing your health with your doctor and your dentist.
Chronic Dry Mouth Endangers Teeth
Aging can come with hormonal changes in many areas of your body as well. They can affect different bodily systems, like digestion in that you can see a reduction in saliva production. This will leave you with dry mouth, a condition in which a dry oral environment feels uncomfortable but also allows oral bacteria to spread more easily and put you in greater danger of infections.
Some medication side effects will include dry mouth as well. Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist. But talk to your dentist about chronic dry mouth to resolve the symptom before it can lead to worsening oral health.
Cognitive Decline Disrupts Oral Maintenance
Aging can lead to an increased risk of cognitive dysfunction due to conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In the event of cognitive decline, an individual might forget to complete certain tasks and routines. If they do not stick to a consistent oral hygiene regimen, they could face serious consequences for their oral health.
You must brush your teeth and floss in a timely fashion to remove harmful plaque and bacteria before they hurt your smile. Otherwise, your weakened teeth could face a greater chance of forming cavities. Your dentist can help you find the right at-home care to keep your smile clean and healthy as you age.