Just because we’re getting older, doesn’t mean we need to get long in the tooth. While dental health issues are more likely to occur as we age, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do to prevent them. The old adage of brushing, rinsing and flossing still holds firm. You should also make sure that regular check-ups with your dentist are part of your schedule.
There can be a lot of fear and uncertainty surrounding teeth and aging, but issues like tooth loss and receding gums shouldn’t be seen as inevitable. Below are answers to some of the questions we are frequently asked.
Common questions around teeth and aging
Is it inevitable that I lose my teeth?
No. While dentures were a foregone conclusion a century ago, vast improvements in nutrition and general health have meant that losing teeth is no longer a natural part of aging. Of course, keeping our natural teeth for life means we must make a routine out of brushing, flossing and rinsing, and ensuring that we have regular check-ups with our dentist.
I take several medications. Can this affect my teeth?
Taking multiple medications is quite common once we hit our senior years. Some people experience a dry mouth as a result of this, which can increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Maintaining a nutritious, balanced diet and drinking plenty of water is the best way to combat this. If you find that this isn’t working, however, then make sure you mention this to your dentist at your next appointment.
Should I consider dentures if I’m losing my teeth?
Definitely. Dentures can have a bad rap due to what they were decades ago. Today’s dentures are far more advanced; they are comfortable to wear and look just like your natural teeth. Like a new pair of shoes, they can take time to get used to, but they should become unnoticeable. If they continue to be a source of irritation, they may simply need an adjustment. If missing teeth are making eating and talking difficult, then talk to one of our dentists about dentures. They will give you a new lease on life.
Is there a connection between oral health and the rest of the body?
Most certainly. Mounting evidence indicates a strong association between gum inflammation and other conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and respiratory problems. This is one of the reasons why we need to stay on top of our oral health, particularly as we age. The condition of our teeth and gums has consequences that reach far beyond the mouth. If you have diabetes or heart problems and want to make sure your oral health isn’t exacerbating those conditions, then book an appointment and have one of our dentists give your pearly whites a thorough examination.