It is a common misconception that as a person gets older, they lose all their teeth. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Your teeth were never meant to be temporary, and there is no reason that they can’t serve you well for your entire life. However, your dental needs do change as you age, and there are things that older adults should consider.
As you age, your gums may start to recede, often from gum disease. This is a process that will expose the roots of your teeth. Those roots are covered in cementum which is not as strong as enamel. Exposed roots are very vulnerable to decay. Certain medication and changes in your body can cause dry mouth – a condition in which you do not produce enough saliva. Dry mouth can increase your risk for gum disease. Your dentist will also want to check your mouth for oral cancer and fungal infections. And after years of use, your teeth will simply start to show signs of wear. You can address or prevent these problems by doing things like increasing your fluoride intake, quitting tobacco and drinking more water, using sugar free-gum, or getting treated for dry mouth. And of course, you need to see your dentist twice a year, or as often as she directs.
No matter your age, your oral health should remain a priority throughout your life. If it is time for your regular dental appointment, or if you are experiencing a problem with your mouth and teeth, our dentist, Dr. Debra Craig will be happy to help! If you live in the Spokane, Washington area, and would like to plan your visit to Harmony Family Dental, call 509-467-1562 today! We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!