The signs of aging tend to affect almost every area of your body, and your mouth is no exception. While ensuring good dental health throughout your lifetime is important, there are a few issues that seem to pop up more often when you reach your older years. Read on to learn about a few of the more common oral health issues and what to do about them.
Unhealthy Gums: Gum problems can go beyond just your mouth area, and problems there can affect your general health. Aging tends to affect the ability of your body to fight bacteria in the mouth, and this is the main cause of gum problems like gingivitis and periodontitis.
The issue is that bacteria can wiggle their way into almost any tiny opening in your gum or teeth, and once the bacteria is there, an infection sets in. You may first see a problem when you brush and notice some blood, but if you address it quickly enough, you can prevent it from turning into something worse.
Lost Teeth: While a missing tooth can be unattractive, what that missing space can do to your other teeth is even more unattractive. Each tooth depends on the ones beside it, under it and above it to help keep it in place and keep it from loosening. Having a missing tooth also makes it more likely that other dental maladies will occur, like cavities and gum disease. There are numerous ways to fill the gap, so speak to your dentist about dentures, bridges and implants to save more than just your smile.
Dry Mouth: You are counting on your saliva to help keep your mouth free of bacteria, but aging could lessen that bit of needed moisture to the point that you have a dry and parched feeling in your mouth. Luckily, you can find several preparations on the market to add that moisture back in and to keep you feeling more comfortable and your mouth more healthy and clean. Look for over-the-counter dry mouth solutions like Oasis and Biotene, among others.
Oral Cancer: This type of cancer is difficult to detect in its early stages, so getting regular professional care at your dentist is vital. The tiny bumps that signal oropharyngeal cancer are too small and flat to be felt or seen by anyone but a dental professional. The good news is that early detection and treatment can lead to a good result for sufferers of this potentially deadly dental problem.
Talk to your local family dentistry clinic to find out more about the above dental issues and for frequent check-ups.