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Healthy Aging for Teeth and Gums

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Teeth and gums require good oral hygiene habits. Brushing twice and flossing once each day prevents gum disease and tooth decay.

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However, as people age they tend to take less care of their teeth and gums. That’s why it is periodontal disease that causes tooth loss in adults, not aging.

Why Gum Disease is Prevalent in Older Adults

According to Dr. Jack Ringer, past president and Accredited Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, gum disease is prevalent in older adults because the condition often goes unnoticed. Gingivitis and the more serious periodontal disease can be painless and show no obvious symptoms to the sufferer. Often times it isn’t discovered until it has reached the point of no return.

What Problems Besides Tooth Loss Can Occur?

Taking care of your teeth or the teeth of an elder is imperative, as there is significant evidence that oral health and overall health are connected.

Below are a few more reasons to be concerned about teeth and gums and the mouth and body connection.

Heart Disease

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Research indicates that heart disease and gum disease are connected. Good oral health habits can prevent tooth decay and gum disease and are powerful weapons against heart disease, stroke and heart attack.

According to the AAP, the American Academy of Periodontology, people suffering from periodontitis have double the risk of heart disease and coronary artery disease. Missing teeth, gum disease and dental caries are good indicators at predicting heart health.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia in older adults has been linked to poor oral health. Bad oral health habits can cause droplets of bacteria to travel from the gums and the mouth to your lungs. Seniors are in the high risk category when it comes to pneumonia. Good oral hygiene is imperative for senior adults. Care takers need to be especially watchful.

Diabetes

A double edged sword, as periodontal disease has been linked to diabetes, diabetics are twice as likely to suffer from severe gum disease. Diabetes impedes the bodies ability to properly use insulin. Resulting in high blood sugar, diabetes could lead to gingivitis or the more serious periodontal disease. Diabetics should schedule more frequent dental checkups to prevent gum disease and promote healthy teeth and gums.

Dark Teeth

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As people age, the dentin, which sits under the enamel on your teeth, will darken because of food and drink consumed. In addition to enamel wear, the dentin, which is yellow, will be visible. Ask Dr. Ringer about porcelain veneers or cosmetic dental bonding. These cosmetic dental procedures will take years off giving you a smile you can be proud of.

Gum Disease

Bacteria, caused by left over food particles results in plaque. If left untreated, plaque will convert to tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist. Brushing and flossing daily along with an antibacterial mouth rinse will keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Gingivitis can be cured, however, periodontal disease cannot, but it can be controlled. Gum disease has been linked to serious health issues.

Dry Mouth

 

Taking certain medications can reduce saliva flow. Taking over the counter and prescription drugs could lead to dry mouth. As a result, your salivary glands aren’t able to control bacteria as saliva washes away the food particles. Ask your doctor about a different medication to prevent dry mouth.

Root Decay

Root exposure to acids caused from food and drink is quite common in older adults. The more the root is exposed, the more it will recede. If there is no enamel protection on the root, decay will be an issue.

Uneven Jawbone

When you lose a tooth your mouth will shift to replace the missing tooth. People who wear dentures are especially prone as open spaces create bite issues and an uneven jawbone. Dental implants can solve the problem as they are permanent replacements for missing teeth. Ask Dr. Ringer about Dental Implants for Missing Teeth.

Denture Stonmatitis

Ill fitting dentures mean candida buildup. The fungus is caused by dentures that don’t fit and is an inflammation of the tissue that lies underneath the denture. Ask Dr. Ringer about a permanent solution, such as dental implants, if you suffer from denture-induced stomatitis.

If you would like more information regarding teeth and gums and healthy aging, call and schedule an appointment with Dental Cosmetics. Your dentist in Anaheim Hills, Dr. Jack Ringer, can help you smile again.

Call or click today.

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