The Aging Mouth

In the past, aging was generally associated with tooth loss, and it was often assumed that older adults would eventually need to get dentures.

That is no longer true. Advances in modern dentistry have improved oral health, and you can collaborate with the best dentists in Keller to develop a plan for retaining your biological teeth well into your golden years.

Although people are keeping their teeth longer, our mouths do change as we get older, and different concerns emerge than the oral health issues often encountered in younger patients. Your dentist should be attuned to the unique needs of an aging mouth and how to treat the problems it encounters.

Your teeth endure a certain amount of wear and tear over the years, and the enamel’s strength is slowly compromised over time. It also becomes thinner, revealing the dentin underneath, which is why senior citizens often have a yellowish tint to their teeth. Many older patients may want to talk to their dentist about teeth whitening treatments to rejuvenate their smiles.

Gum disease is also a concern associated with aging, as the effects of years of inflammation take effect. The links between gum disease and other conditions often found in older patients, like diabetes and heart disease, is another cause for concern. Regular checkups will give your dentist the chance to spot signs of gum disease and provide you with treatment to keep it from progressing.

Older adults tend to take more medications, and this aspect of aging has a surprising link to oral health, too. Many medications have xerostomia (dry mouth) as a side effect, and this can increase a patient’s risk of many oral diseases, like periodontitis or cavities.

Consistent dental care is essential to keeping your natural teeth throughout your lifetime. You should continue to visit your dentist every six months for cleanings and exams. Indeed, our risk for oral diseases increases as we age, as is the case with almost every other health problem. Keeping to a regular schedule of routine dental appointments and maintaining a thorough home oral hygiene routine will help you keep a healthy smile as you age.