Preventing Oral Health Problems as You Age

elderly patient smilingAs you age, you may face more oral health issues than you did in the past, as elderly patients tend to experience more dental issues. Despite this, cavities and tooth loss are not a natural part of aging. Instead, medication, plaque buildup, and arthritis, which can prevent you from brushing your teeth properly, can cause additional health concerns you may not have had to deal with before. However, oral health problems in elderly patients can be prevented or minimized through constant care and protective measures.

Oral Health Problems You May Face as You Age

Dental diseases or issues you should be aware of as you age include:

  • Dry mouth—This is one of the biggest concerns you may face as you age, as it can be a side effect of many medications or treatments. Dry mouth can be dangerous, because saliva neutralizes acid and washes food particles out of your teeth, which helps to prevent tooth decay.
  • Tooth decayPlaque can build on your teeth, and may even become tartar, a hard substance that can only be removed from your teeth at a professional dental cleaning. Many of the bacteria in plaque are responsible for common dental issues, including tooth decay and cavities.
  • Gum disease—Excessive bacteria also cause gum disease. Plaque can build up over time near your gum line, causing gingivitis and eventually gum disease. Some health conditions, such as anemia, cancer, and diabetes, may increase your risks of developing gum disease.
  • Tooth lossGum disease and tooth decay can lead to tooth loss if they are not treated in time. Also, osteoporosis and other health issues can lead to a weakened jawbone, and your teeth may be more susceptible to severe damage due to years of use.

ABOUT YOUR NORTH RICHLAND HILLS FAMILY DENTIST:

With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact our office today by calling 817-577-1444.