Your Aging Mouth| Morris County Dental Associates | Succasunna, NJ

Your Aging Mouth

Your Aging Mouth| Morris County Dental Associates | Succasunna, NJ When we think about aging, what most often comes to mind are those stubborn gray hairs and the wrinkles around the eyes. For some of us, it is our aching joints that call our attention as we get older. Of course, we know that aging is not a localized event; the entire body changes as the birthdays pass. That includes the mouth.  As you head up the ladder of aging, know that your Succasunna dentist has you covered.

We understand the various ways that aging can affect oral health, and we monitor and treat conditions such as:

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth sometimes comes on so gradually that it can reach a problematic stage without us knowing it. The dental condition known as xerostomia creates an uncomfortable feeling in the mouth. It may also make it difficult to speak with ultimate clarity. Even more concerning, dry mouth increases the risk for dental conditions including gum disease and cavities. So, we want to assess the risk for dry mouth by knowing patients’ medical history. Health conditions such as diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease may lead to xerostomia, as can certain medications. If this condition does develop, it may be managed by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and by chewing sugarless gum. Individuals with dry mouth should also limit alcohol consumption and should not smoke.

Gum Disease

It almost seems as though periodontal disease could be categorized as an age-related condition because so many of us struggle with this infection as we get older. It is important to stay ahead of inflammation and degradation of gum tissue with healthy brushing and flossing habits. Acidic foods and beverages also lend to the inflammatory process, both in the mouth and systemically, so should be limited as much as possible.  Smoking should also be avoided. Finally, routine dental checkups and cleanings are necessary to inhibit aggressive bacterial invasion in the gums.

Bone Loss

As women age, one of the problems they are encouraged to monitor closely is bone loss. Women are more likely to lose bone density as they age, and this can occur anywhere in the body. Bone loss in the jaw is detrimental to oral health because it is in the bone where teeth roots are settled, and where they gain stability. Vitamin D is essential for calcium uptake in the body, so women should speak with their healthcare provider about proper supplementation for their needs.

Schedule a Consultation

From gum disease to failing dental work to discoloration and bone loss, we provide friendly care to help patients mitigate the effects of the aging mouth. To schedule a visit with us, call 973-328-1225.

Have You Noticed Your Gums Are Bleeding?

gum diseaseDo your gums bleed while you floss and brush? If so, don’t just ignore it. Bleeding gums should be taken seriously. To that end, here’s what you need to know:

Gums do not normally bleed, even with vigorous brushing. But if they do, it may be one of the signs of gum disease. Watch for other signs such as tender or swollen gums, persistent bad breath, mouth sores, loose teeth, or receding gums.

Gum disease is:
•Also known as gingivitis or periodontal disease.
•A bacterial infection that can destroy your gums, damage your teeth and result in tooth loss. It has also been linked to heart disease and diabetes.
•Primarily caused by poor dental hygiene, as well as being pregnant, having diabetes, smoking, or eating a diet which consists of too many carbs and sugary foods or drinks.

What should you do if your gums bleed?
•Gum disease is a frightening prospect because of its serious effects, but there are things you can do to recover and stop it from progressing.
•Call and schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible. We can determine how far the infection has progressed and what type of recovery treatment is necessary.
•You will need a professional dental cleaning.
•You may even need a deeper cleaning, which is called “scaling.”
•If the problem is more serious, you may need medication or surgery.
•If the problem is manageable, there are steps you can take on your own to treat and prevent gum disease:
•At a minimum, rinse your mouth with water after eating; brush if possible.
•Floss at least once a day, more often while you’re recovering from gum disease.
•Rinse your mouth with a non-alcohol based mouthwash.
•Avoid sugary foods and beverages.
•Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

If it’s been too long since your last dental exam and cleaning, call to request a consultation appointment, today. Our goal is helping you keep and enhance a beautiful smile: 973-328-1225.

Periodontal Disease De-Mystified

Everyone’s mouth is full of germs, bacteria and left-over food particles. Yes, everyone.
And those things can cause bad breath and combine to create a filmy paste over your teeth…plaque…the number one cause of tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Brushing and flossing regularly can help get rid of plaque, but plaque that is not removed can form tartar which can only be removed by a dentist or a hygienist.
The longer plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more harmful they become.

What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease

 

Periodontal disease ranges from simple gum inflammation to a serious condition that results in major damage to the bone and soft tissue that support the teeth. Sometimes teeth are lost.

  • Plaque, bacteria and tartar can cause gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums.
    Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease and does not include any loss of bone or tissue. It is easily treated and can usually be reversed with good dental habits. Signs to look for are gums that bleed easily and are tender, swollen and red.
  • If gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis, inflammation around the gums and teeth.
    Periodontitis causes gums to pull away from the teeth. Small pockets then form at the gum line that may become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque grows, but this natural response to infection starts to break down the connective tissue and bone that hold the teeth in place. If left untreated, bone, tissue and gums are destroyed.

Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of periodontal disease, however, the earlier it is caught, the easier periodontal disease is to treat. Here are some symptoms to be aware of:

  • Bleeding, swollen, red and recessed gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • A chronic bad taste in your mouth

Are you concerned about your dental health or think you may have periodontal disease?
Call Morris County Dental to book a consultation appointment and get back on track to healthier teeth and a happier smile: 973-328-1225.