A Healthy Smile As We Age

Friday, March 21st, 2014, 12:10 am

Yes, it is possible to keep a healthy smile as we age! Getting older puts us at risk for a number of oral health problems but working together, we can avoid some of them.

  • As we get older our teeth tend to get darker. This is usually a combination of a lifetime of consuming teeth-staining foods and beverages but, there is another reason. The dentin in the tooth, the layer beneath the enamel, changes as we age.
  • Dry mouth is a common side effect of certain medications. Some cancer treatments also cause reduced saliva flow. There are saliva substitutes than can make your mouth more comfortable and help protect your teeth.
  • Root decay. When gums recede due to over-brushing or gum disease, the tooth roots may become exposed and decay.
  • Gum disease is more common in seniors. A combination of poorly fitting dentures or bridges, poor diets, systemic diseases and poor brushing and flossing lead to inflammation and gum disease. If brushing and flossing are difficult because of physical limitations it may be time to swap out the manual toothbrush for an electric model. Water flossers are highly effective in place of regular dental floss. Regular dental hygiene appointments will help keep gums healthy.
  • Tooth loss is usually caused by gum disease.
  • Jaw bone changes. When the jaw bone no longer serves as an anchor point for the teeth, it will begin to resorb and shrink.

Maintaining good oral health as we age helps our overall health and appearance. A healthy smile means better nutrition because it is easier to eat healthy foods. Maintaining a full set of healthy teeth means the jaw bone will remain intact and facial features will avoid the “shrunken” or aged appearance.

Find out more about protecting your smile by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439.

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