Ageing And Your Dental Health
Do older people have specific oral health concerns?
Whatever age we are at now, old age is inevitable; unless we are very unfortunate of course. As we get older, it is more likely that health issues will arise and when it comes to our oral health we need to take extra care if we are to preserve our natural teeth as we age.
Whilst the risk of tooth loss and other dental problems is heightened during our later years, it is certainly not inevitable, and paying a little extra attention to our teeth and gums can help us to have strong and healthy teeth as we progress through the years.
If you have ever had a mild toothache, that is the result of the nerves in your teeth sending signals to the brain. Naturally, if this happens, you would make an appointment to see your local Streatham dentist at the Confidental Clinic to have your tooth examined, and treated as necessary.
As we get older, the nerves start to degrade and can become less effective at sending these warning signals. Consequently, if left to our own devices, we may not realise that we have a problem with dental decay until it is too late. Providing that you attend your regular six monthly dental check up, problems such as this can be detected and usually treated with a relatively minor procedure, such as a filling.
As certain health problems tend to occur as we get older, such as diabetes, we may recommend that you have your examinations at more frequent intervals to help you to have a healthy mouth for longer.
As well as professional dental care, there are a number of things that you can do to increase your chances of keeping your own natural teeth.
- Clean your teeth twice a day. Using an electric toothbrush is now generally considered to be a more efficient method than a manual toothbrush.
- Do not brush too hard as this may damage the protective enamel.
- Use dental floss or an interdental brush to clean between your teeth. Many dental problems originate in this often ignored area.
- If you have dentures, clean them on a daily basis. Although the dentures may be artificial, they can harbour bacteria. If not cleaned, this may be harmful to your remaining teeth and gums.
- Stay hydrated – Dehydration is common when we get older and a dry mouth is well known to contribute to an increase in the gingival bacteria that can be harmful to gums.
- Stop smoking – Smoking can lead to increased risk of gum disease, more infections and potentially, oral cancers. If you haven’t already, now is a good time to stop smoking.
- Hygienist – As well as regular dental checks, seeing the hygienist to have your teeth professionally cleaned is an excellent way of boosting your chances of keeping your mouth healthy and retaining your natural teeth well into old age.
Taking just a few minutes each day, along with regular dental and hygienist visits should stand you in good stead for having a healthy set of teeth as you get older. To ensure that you stay on top of your dental health, call the Confidental Clinic in Streatham today on 020 8674 2052.