Did you know that about 1 in 6 American seniors (aged 65 and over) have lost all their teeth? Even though there is a misconception that tooth loss is inevitable as you get older, that’s not actually the case.
Your teeth will experience specific aging symptoms as you get older, but a lot of it is preventable or can be minimized.
Read on to learn more about dental care for seniors and how you can take better care of your aging teeth and gums.
Yellowing of Teeth
As you get older, your tooth enamel wears away, leaving the naturally yellow dentin exposed, which is why your teeth will start looking yellower.
It’s a normal part of the aging process.
Of course, the more you use your teeth over time, the more worn down they will be. That’s quite common as well.
Even daily chewing, which is unavoidable, will wear your teeth down over time.
As you age, bone and muscle loss is inevitable as well.
This can occur in the jaw and face area, causing your gums to recede. This is what causes your teeth to loosen and fall out.
When you age, the nerves in your teeth get smaller. This causes teeth to become less sensitive.
As you get older, you are less likely to feel the pain related to tooth decay, which can cause it to progress beyond repair.
Seniors are sometimes on medication, which can have dry mouth as one of the side effects. Saliva is quite important in ensuring the health of your teeth and preventing tooth decay.
That’s why it’s important to stay hydrated, even more so as you get older.
Minimizing the Damage
All hope is not lost. There are several things you can do to prevent your teeth from feeling the ravages of old age.
- Visit your dentist regularly – this will ensure they catch problems before they worsen
- Stay hydrated – drink lots of water to prevent dry mouth
- Stop smoking – this can help quite a bit in preventing hastened tooth aging
- Use an electric toothbrush – this can work better when your manual dexterity declines
Also, do not dismiss your oral health as unimportant, especially if you are dealing with other chronic diseases. Having a healthy set of teeth well into your 80s is possible, but only if you put in the work to take care of your teeth daily.
If your teeth are already far gone, then get an overdenture implant here.
Dental Care and Age: A Potent Combination
In your youth, you were able to engage in high-risk behaviors without a care in the world. But as you get older, your aging teeth and gums will remind you that you can’t bounce back from such behavior as easily anymore.
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