Aging and Oral Health – Keep Your Teeth and Gums Safe from Periodontal Disease
If you think tooth loss is a normal part of aging, think again. Most tooth loss in the aging population is related to preventable periodontal disease. Gum disease or periodontal disease refers to an inflammation and infection of the gums and soft tissues that surround your teeth and hold them in place. The early stage is called gingivitis; it is caused by the accumulation of bacteria-laden plaque on tooth surfaces that occurs when you don’t brush and floss regularly. Early symptoms include bleeding, swollen, and red gums. If the problem isn’t treated, it progresses to periodontitis, which involves the bone and connective tissues. Affected gum tissues recede and form pockets, and tooth loss often follows.
Common Dental Problems Associated with Age
- Root decay commonly occurs after gums recede due to gum disease or overzealous brushing. The exposed root surfaces are more porous and vulnerable to decay.
- Dry mouth is often a result of medications that decrease saliva production. Saliva rinses away food debris and neutralizes harmful acids that can lead to tooth decay. Talk to your doctor or dentist in Reading about treatments for dry mouth.
- Oral cancer is more common in people after they reach 40 years of age. Make a dental appointment immediately if you see unusual red or white patches inside your mouth.
- Limited access to your dentist can be a problem if you have limited mobility or lack transportation. Consult your local senior services organizations for advice.
- Brushing and flossing difficulties may be a result of arthritis in your hands or loss of dexterity. Your dentist can recommend tools and techniques to improve your ability to clean your teeth properly.
Aging and Oral Health: What Your Dentist Can Tell You
Graceful aging and oral health maintenance go hand in hand. The state of your teeth and gums can tell your dentist a lot about what is going on in your body, and recent research suggests that good oral health correlates with good general health and a high quality of life. For this reason, regular dental visits are an important element of proper healthcare. To stay as healthy as possible, and detect problems like gingivitis and periodontitis before they result in tooth loss, see your dentist as often as he or she recommends.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Reading, call Gentle Dental of Reading today at (484) 334-2592 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Reading. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Reading, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Reading.