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 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.
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.
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.