Older adults can have increased oral care concerns

The number of health concerns that begin to crop up when we hit our mid-50s may surprise us, especially if we’ve taken good care of ourselves by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and eating nutritiously. Our oral health can also begin to cause us some concern as we age, even with a regular routine of brushing, flossing and seeing the dentist regularly.

The good news is, armed with knowledge and awareness, our oral health can get the extra attention it needs so that our teeth can fulfill their potential to last a lifetime. Here are some common problems you may experience as you approach retirement:

Gum disease

dental careWhen the gum tissue surrounding our teeth becomes infected because of plaque build-up, it can cause serious conditions such as gingivitis. This is the first stage of gum disease and is characterized by swollen, red and/or bleeding gums. Gum disease can be a particular concern for older adults, so it’s crucial that we don’t slack off on our oral care routine.

Tooth and root decay

Even at 55-plus, we can still develop decay, especially if we have receding gums. It’s important for older adults to effectively clean the gums and sometimes flossing can become difficult. Look for flossing devices that are pre-threaded to make the task easier.

Sensitive teeth

Those sharp, tingling sensations in our teeth can become more common the older we get. To help avoid tooth sensitivity, brush gently with a soft bristle brush and talk to your dentist to make sure you aren’t grinding your teeth at night.

Dry mouth

Saliva production can decrease as we age, which isn’t good for chewing, digesting or teeth and gum health. Chewing sugarless gum, increasing water intake, and moisturizing rinses and sprays can increase saliva production, the liquid that helps protect our teeth and gums from plaque build-up and all the problems that can bring.

Your overall health and lifestyle habits also have an even bigger impact on your dental health in your 50s. Make sure that seeing your dentist regularly continues to be part of your routine. Call for your appointment today: (304) 754-8803.

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