Kavanaugh Dentistry


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Oral Issues to Look Out for as You Get Older


In general, our bodies can go through countless changes as we grow older. Even though we become wiser, our bodies can become more susceptible to health risks. This is also true in our mouths. People tend to think of their mobility and cholesterol as they get older but often don’t think of what is happening with their oral health until a drastic issue occurs. This is why we think you should be aware of the following oral issues as you get older.

Worn Down Enamel

Over the years, all of the impact your teeth take with chewing and grinding can take a toll on their condition. Especially if you have had chips, cracks, breaks, or any other damage to your teeth, the consequences can show up later. At a point, all of the bearings will wear down your enamel. Your enamel is the hard protective layer on the outside of your teeth. Once worn away, it cannot be regained naturally. Ways to slow down the process of enamel erosion are to not chew on hard materials (like pens or pencils), avoid grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw, and wearing a mouth guard when playing contact sports. Also avoid consuming any foods or drinks that are highly acidic like coffee, soft drinks, and citrus fruits. The acids will wear away your enamel. If you consume a highly acidic food or drink, brush your teeth in at least 30 minutes to stop the acidic reaction with your teeth before it starts.

Dry Mouth

A common occurrence among people as they get older is their mouth dries out more frequently. This happens naturally and it can also be a side effect of certain medications. Saliva is a huge factor in preserving your oral health. It washes away harmful bacteria that is left over from the foods and drinks you consume. It also helps keep the soft tissue in your mouth, like your gums and tongue, to stay healthy. A dry mouth can lead to irritations, swelling, and even wounds or infections in your mouth. The way to avoid a dry mouth is to stay hydrated constantly. It doesn’t hurt to swish some water around in your mouth a few times a day.

Gum Health

Healthy gums are a key ingredient to overall oral health. They are the anchor to your teeth; the soil that your teeth dig their roots into for support. A big reason lots of people have gum health issues today is because of smoking. Click here to learn more from a dentist’s perspective why you should either never start smoking or stop smoking today. The simple answer to keeping your gum health at peak performance is to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and remember to floss once a day.

Risk of Oral Cancer

This is the situation with almost all cancer, your risk of being diagnosed with oral cancer increases as you get older. Most people diagnosed with oral cancer are older than 55 and men have twice the chance to get it than women. To lower your risk of being diagnosed with oral cancer, avoid smoking, tobacco use of any kind, abusing alcohol, and other similar risky behaviors.

After learning all of this, you most likely realize now the significance of regularly visiting your dentist as the years' pass. We advise you visit us more frequently after you reach the age of 50. If you have any questions or you want to schedule an appointment, click the button below.