As you get older, it becomes even more important that you are looking after your teeth properly and your dental health as a whole. When cared for well, teeth can last a lifetime; although some people seem to think a decline is inevitable – it isn’t. As people age, their mouth changes, the nerves become smaller, meaning that teeth are less sensitive to cavities and other problems. Unfortunately, this reduced sensitivity often leads to a late diagnosis of dental issues as people are simply unaware that they are there, so they do not consult their dentist until it is too late.
But why and how does ageing affect the teeth? Read on to find out.
Why Does Ageing Affect the Teeth?
What is it about getting older that makes people more susceptible to different oral health problems? In the most basic terms, as the body ages, the production of new cells slows down, the skin and tissue are less elastic, and bones weaken. All of this simply leads to a less effective immune system which leaves the body more vulnerable. This vulnerability is unfortunately across the board, and so dental health becomes more precarious.
Common Ailments: Gum Disease
When you age, there are a number of oral conditions that you become more susceptible to. Firstly, and perhaps most common, is gum disease. Gum disease is the leading reason why the older you get, the more likely you are to lose teeth. It is often caused by a build-up of bacteria and other harmful substances. Smoking, drinking, and in general, just abandoning your oral hygiene can all contribute.
Gum disease can lead to gum recession and eventually loose teeth or missing teeth. Often, the symptoms are easier to miss in the initial stages of gum disease, increasing in severity as it progresses. This treatment relies heavily on your dentist’s diagnosis, but the proper treatment can often reverse the disease and its effects altogether. In the earlier stages, it can often be treated by non-invasive methods, although some patients will need dental surgery if it has progressed far enough.
Common Ailments: Infections
Tooth infection is not specific to adults. Even children can have infected bay teeth, but as you get older, you are more likely to contract infections for the reasons mentioned above. However, one of the most common reasons for contracting oral infections Is a dip in saliva production as you age. This is sometimes exacerbated by medication as many prescriptions medications list dry mouth as a side effect. Saliva is needed to wash away particles and bacteria, but it can cause infections when they build up.
If left untreated, the infections can migrate into your bloodstream and have detrimental effects throughout your body. If you feel any pain or soreness or if you see any redness or inflammation, then you should make an appointment with your dentist or doctor to treat your dental abscess or infection properly.
Common Ailments: Worn Enamel
Enamel is the thin protective layer that sits on the surface of the tooth. The enamel is vital for keeping the structure of your tooth intact, although it can naturally wear down as someone gets older, so it is important to invest time in maintaining the strength of your teeth. In addition, without enamel, it is much easier to damage a tooth, which can lead to further issues.
Common Ailments: Losing Teeth
As the teeth become less sensitive during the ageing process, it is more common for older people to lose their teeth. However, this is prevented by taking proper care of the teeth and by visiting a dentist often. Nowadays, if tooth loss is inevitable, several cosmetic dental procedures can replace the lost teeth with natural-looking results, and no one will be able to guess.
How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy
By adopting better oral habits, you can increase the longevity of your smile. Brush twice daily with a good quality toothbrush. Floss daily to clean out between the teeth. Drink more tap water as it often contains fluoride, which is incredibly beneficial for your teeth. Lastly, visit the dentist regularly. A good dentist can help you take preventative measures and offer you an early diagnosis if any dental issues come up. If you are considering making a change and located in the Brisbane area, you should start your search with Pure Dentistry. This dental clinic has a team of highly skilled and experienced dentists who offer various procedures, from check-ups to more invasive cosmetic procedures. They can keep your smile looking great for years to come.
Mouths are used every day, they are often critical for breathing, eating, and communicating, so they must be looked after. This importance only increases as people age because their oral health is more likely to decline. After all, the body does become more susceptible to illness and infection. However, ageing doesn’t have to be a long, arduous process; in most cases, you need to prioritise your care, and you are far less likely to have a negative experience.