• 5 Dental Concerns for The Aging Adult

    on Feb 18th, 2016

Paying attention to your oral health is important at any age. There are unique dental health challenges that patient's face at each stage of life. Practicing good dental hygiene habits is just as important for children as it is for senior adults. In fact, there are significant risk factors for gum disease and other dental health problems that aging adults need to be aware of. Here are a five common concerns regarding seniors and their teeth:

Gum Recession: As we get older, our gums will likely start to recede. This is part of the natural aging process. Teeth can become sensitive and even loose if gum recession gets severe. Maintain a daily flossing routine to slow the recession process and see your dentist for routine monitoring.

Discolored Teeth: Your teeth may appear darker than they once did. This is in part due to a lifetime of consuming staining foods and drinks. However, it is also caused by the fact that the outer enamel layer of our teeth thins and wears down over time. In result, the inner dentin layer shows through, which is a darker, more yellow hue.

Dry Mouth: A reduction in saliva flow is very common in senior adults. Dry mouth can be caused by an underlying disease or medication you are taking. Regardless, dry mouth needs to be addressed for the sake of your oral health. Your teeth need adequate saliva production to wash away harmful bacteria and food debris as well as neutralize acids in your mouth.

Gum Disease: The top causes of gum disease are unfortunately factors that plague older adults. Gum disease is caused by the use of tobacco products, poor-fitting bridges and dentures, poor diets, and certain diseases, such as anemia, cancer, and diabetes. Left untreated, gum disease can worsen gum recession and cause tooth loss. Gum disease can also affect your overall health.

Uneven Jawbone: Not replacing missing teeth causes an uneven jawbone. The adjacent teeth shift out of position and surrounding bone structure is lost when a missing tooth and missing tooth root are not replaced. The resorption of jawbone from missing teeth leads to premature facial aging, or a sunken appearance within the jaw. Dental implants are the only way to replace both the tooth and tooth root to prevent bone loss.

If you are an aging adult, there are still ways to combat the above-mentioned concerns. Taking proper care of your teeth and gums is your best defense. Brushing and flossing may become more difficult as a senior adult. Therefore, ask about the latest brushing and flossing tools that can help with lack of dexterity and coordination, including electric toothbrushes and water flossers. At Dentistry of Highland Village, we deeply care about your smile, regardless of your phase of life.

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Dentistry of Highland Village
3651 Weslayan St., Suite 208
Houston, TX 77027
Phone: 713-231-9273
Fax: 713-360-7701
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