Aging and Dental Health Growing older doesn’t mean what it used to.  Good dental care can help keep cavities and oral health issues, such as tooth loss, to a minimum.  When it comes to aging and dental health, it is important to continue receiving regular dental checkups to avoid some common problems that may come with aging oral health.  

As a person ages, some typical changes may occur to their dental health.  Some of those changes are:

  • Gum recession
  • Increased sensitivity to drugs used in dental procedures
  • Cognitive changes which may lead to oral self-care quality issues
  • Increased susceptibility to dry mouth and therefore tooth loss

Receding gums make it more likely that food particles may get stuck near the gum line, leading to an increase in cavities. Tooth loss also becomes more common with age because the structures that hold teeth in place can weaken and function less effectively.  Regular dental checkups, making a plan with a dental provider for future needs, and maintaining good oral hygiene habits at home can minimize these issues so that an aging individual can retain the smile she loves.  

As one ages, it is common to experience an increase in sensitivity to medications, including the medications used in dental procedures.  There may also be difficulty maintaining oral self-care due to cognitive changes such as frequent forgetfulness or dementia. It is extremely important that family members and caregivers continue to provide regular oral care, such as brushing and annual checkups, to the aging individual.

Dental professionals are experts at noting any age-related changes in oral health and can make necessary adjustments to patient care.  They can also make suggestions to patients for them to follow up with at home.  Some of those suggestions might include gum stimulation, regular brushing with a softer brush, flossing and an increase in dental checkups to monitor any issues.  

Chewing gum marked with the ADA approval seal also has health benefits for the aging.  It helps to increase the flow of saliva, which whisks away food particles and bacteria.  It helps with dry mouth issues and delivers phosphate and calcium,  which can help preserve and harden tooth enamel.

There is no magic cure for aging, but with the help of a solid oral health routine and a good dental provider, like Dr. Earwood or Dr. Myers, a person can maintain her beautiful smile for years to come.  

How We Can Help!

If you are currently looking for a new dental home for yourself or a loved one, we are here for you.  Need to make an appointment?  Contact us online or at (919) 847-8413 today!