Common Oral Health Problems That Come With Aging
Aging affects a person’s body, both physically and mentally. Health issues naturally tend to arise with the passing years, including those related to oral health. Below are some of the possible oral problems that one may experience with age.
Wearing of Enamel
Through the years, the mouth chews food 3-6 times per day and receives the impact of tooth tormentors like ice, nuts, beer caps, and fishing line. The daily use of your teeth will result in gradual tooth enamel wear. The teeth suffer from constant friction and impact and will eventually reach the level of mechanical wear. To combat enamel deterioration, you must monitor your daily oral health habits and make an effort to improve them if you want to avoid damage to your teeth. For example: if you currently chew rocks, refrain from chewing rocks in the future. Avoid chewing hard items that may traumatize your teeth. And when playing highly physical sports, protect your mouth with a mouth guard to avoid oral injuries. We’ve all seen too many hockey smiles that look like black and white keys on a piano.
Some people experience dry mouth as they age due to a natural decrease in salivary supply. Saliva plays a very significant role in the mouth’s overall well-being because it hydrates the mouth and acts as a cleansing agent. If its supply is decreased, different mouth infections may occur since the bacteria coming from various food particles will not be washed away. The key to addressing dry mouth is to identify whether the cause is natural or due to certain medications. If the cause due to natural aging, then make sure to drink plenty of water to replace the hydrating effect of saliva. If dry mouth is a side effect of medications, discuss the issue with your doctor so that you can explore possible solutions.
Deterioration of Gum Health
The condition of your gum tissue plays an important role in your mouth’s well-being because it acts as a barrier against certain infections threatening to enter the body. Just like your teeth, your gums are prone to damage because they are the primary line of defense in the mouth. You must remember to comply with your oral care regimen such as brushing at least twice a day and flossing regularly. If you don’t brush and floss regularly to keep your teeth clean, plaque can build up along your gumline, creating an environment for additional bacteria to accumulate in the space between your gums and your teeth. This can lead to diseases like gingivitis, an inflammation of the gum tissues, or periodontitis, the loss of bone that holds your teeth in place.
These are just a few of the oral health issues that we come across as we age. Remember that we cannot totally avoid oral health problems as they are part of the natural aging process, but we can always find ways to minimize time’s impact. Be proactive when it comes to your oral health and visit your dentist regularly. As Smokey the Bear would say: only you can prevent mouth disease; only you.