Dental Problems In Older Patients
Why some oral health issues are more common in older age.
If you have been seeing your dentist on a regular basis since your younger years, and have also looked after your teeth well, there is no real reason, barring accidents, that you shouldn’t have healthy teeth and gums throughout your life. Some problems though, are more likely to occur as we become older, if for no other reason than through general wear and tear.
In today’s Blue Sky Dental blog, we look at some of the more common issues which are likely to arise as we enter our later years.
Tooth and root decay
It isn’t just children who suffer from cavities. Although our tastes change and we probably eat less sugar than we did as a child, sugar is still present in many foods that we eat. An additional factor in later years is that our gums can recede, exposing the less well protected root part of the tooth. It is especially important, as we get older, to continue to brush, floss and see the hygienist to help keep our mouths really clean.
Older people tend to produce less saliva. This can lead to a dry mouth, which, as readers of our blogs will know, will lead to an increase in the number of gum harming bacteria in our mouth. Gum disease can be kept in check through good cleaning, including the use of dental floss, and maintaining regular appointments with our Chelmsford hygienist.
Receding gums can be caused by gum disease (see above), but is also often a result of many years of brushing too hard. There is no need to ‘scrub’ your teeth and gums, and doing so can result in gum recession which exposes the roots of our teeth. You should brush in a gentle circular motion, avoiding using a brush with very hard bristles.
As with receding gums, brushing too hard can wear down the enamel of our teeth. This exposes the more porous dentin layer below it which makes the nerves within our teeth more sensitive. Acidic foods such as oranges and other citric fruits can have the same effect. If you have very sensitive teeth, there are options such as dental veneers, which can be fitted to replace the worn down enamel on the surface of your front teeth.
Halitosis is more common in older people and is very often a symptom of gum disease. Providing that you look after your gums, as mentioned above, this should not prove to be a major issue although temporary bad breath following eating certain foods, may still occur of course.
Good oral health is important whether you are young or old and we welcome patients of all ages at our Chelmsford dental practice. If you would like to register with us, please call Blue Sky Dental on 01245 211070.