How To Keep Your Teeth And Gums Healthy As You Get Older
At our dental practice, we help our patients to maintain oral health from the very earliest stages of life to the very latest.
As we age, we can become more at risk for dental complications, such as gum disease and dry mouth. So, what can you do to keep your mouth healthy?
Keep reading as we discuss how to keep your teeth and gums healthy as you age, avoiding the complications of poor dental health.
What Happens To Your Teeth And Gums As You Age?
You only get one set of adult teeth, so protecting them is essential. If you do not take proper care of your teeth and gum health as you age, you may encounter the following issues:
- Your teeth will become stained, yellow, and brown – everyone wants a flawless white smile. Neglecting to care for your teeth properly can result in severe staining, which may be difficult and expensive to correct.
- Your teeth may fall out – if your teeth become weakened by decay, they may fall out, or you could experience severe oral pain.
- You may develop gum disease and gum recession – if plaque builds up in your mouth, this could lead to severe gum disease and bleeding gums.
- Poor oral hygiene can affect your heart health – as we age, we must protect our hearts. Failing to implement effective oral hygiene can negatively affect your heart health.
- Your mouth becomes drier – as you age, your mouth becomes drier, and there is less saliva to wash away the bacteria and food in your mouth. This calls for an increased focus on oral hygiene.
- Increased risk of oral cancer – when you get older, you have an increased risk of getting oral cancer, which is higher for men than women.
- Cavities – you are more likely to develop cavities in the tooth’s root as you age.
There are many issues you can encounter with your teeth and gums in the later stages of life. This is why you must take proactive care of your teeth during this time.
How to Prevent Gum Disease: Top Tips For Taking Care Of Your Teeth
To prevent health issues and oral complications like gum disease, consider implementing the practices listed below for your oral hygiene.
Brushing And Flossing
During any stage of your life, brushing and flossing are essential. You must take great care to brush and floss your teeth each morning and night, helping to minimise the amount of plaque and tartar in your mouth by eliminating bacterial build up.
If you use fluoride toothpaste, this will help to strengthen your enamel and can reduce the signs of tooth erosion and decay. Consider using an electric toothbrush for more powerful cleaning.
Cleaning The Gums
If you do not clean your gums during your daily brushing routine, bacteria can stay in your mouth and spread to your teeth. Since having a dry mouth is more prevalent in later life and can lead to gum disease, you should regularly clean your gums. There will be less saliva in your mouth to wash the bacteria away, and opting for mouthwash can help you to account for this. You should use mouthwash before you brush your teeth or even between brushes.
This is because mouthwash can wash away the fluoride your toothpaste leaves on your teeth – and you won’t get as many benefits from your toothpaste. You might also consider using a tongue scraper to clean away any food or residue left on your tongue after you sleep or after a full day of eating. Cleaning the gums is the best way to reduce the risk of gum disease and keep your breath feeling and smelling fresh after your daily brush!
Visiting Your Dentist For Regular Cleaning
Brushing and cleaning your gums isn’t enough to prevent tooth decay. No matter how long or carefully we brush, we cannot reach all areas in our mouths alone. To ensure every surface of your teeth is clean, you can visit your dentist every six months for regular cleaning.
Your dentist will use a scraping tool, erosive toothpaste, and a fluoride rinse, carefully cleaning all the parts of your teeth you miss in your daily brush. Taking time out for regular dental cleaning seriously boosts your oral health, reduces your risk of gum disease, and helps keep your natural teeth healthy for longer.
Since you are more at risk for oral cancer and periodontal disease in later life, visiting your local Maroubra dentist for regular checkups is a good idea. Your dentist will be able to spot the early signs of oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth decay – allowing them to take corrective action.
Spotting any issues early increases your chances of a swift recovery. For instance, if your dentist notices the early signs of gum disease, they can provide you with the proper tools and rinses to stop it from evolving. So, be sure to take some time to see your dentist regularly.
If you experience dryness in your mouth during your senior years, drinking plenty of water can be a great way to provide more moisture. If you become dehydrated, the effects of dry mouth will worsen. Swilling water around your mouth when you drink will help to substitute for the lack of saliva, cleaning any unwanted pieces of food or debris from your teeth and gums.
Cut Out The Bad Habits
Alcohol and smoking have negative consequences for your general health as well as your dental health. It is essential to cut the bad habits in later life to ensure your health and wellbeing – and reduce the impact on your teeth. Consider kicking these habits to enjoy whiter, healthier teeth as you age.
When you enter the later years of life, you have a greater risk of developing oral health complications like oral cancer and gum disease. This means taking the time for oral hygiene and dental visits is essential. Drinking more water and cutting out bad habits will help you promote longevity for your physical well-being and oral health. For more advice and support in your oral health journey, contact our dental experts at Maroubra Dental Clinic.