Alleviating dental problems in old ageJanuary 26th, 2017
As we grow older, our bodies tire, and things just don’t work as they used to. There are many health complaints we may expect to start creeping in. We might believe that an inevitable part of growing older is losing a tooth or two. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Today we hope to give you a few tips and some advice on how to combat some of the problems that old age brings us with our oral health care, and leave you confident in how to hold onto a full set of your own teeth for a long time to come.
As we get older, we might find the act of brushing our teeth becomes more of a challenge. We may lose some of the dexterity we once had, meaning that we can’t manoeuvre our arms and hands in order to get to those harder to reach areas when we are brushing. Rather than letting this, over time, lead to a build-up of plaque which will cause tooth decay, why not invest in an electric toothbrush? Electric brushes have thicker handles and are easier to grip than conventional toothbrushes. The vibrating motion of the head means that they do most of the work: the brusher doesn’t need to have as much dexterity and speed in order to fully clean their teeth. In addition to electric toothbrushes, there are many other aids which may help you overcome this problem. Have a conversation with your dentist, and see what your options are.
In addition, many of us may need to start to take regular medications. Some of our prescriptions may have side effects. A common side effect of some medications is the reduction of the amount of saliva we produce. Saliva in our mouths has an important function in protecting our teeth against tooth decay. If our mouths begin to dry out, then we may be at an increased risk of tooth decay, which could eventually lead to tooth loss. However, there are a number of products available over the counter which contain artificial saliva. Taking these helps to restore our mouths to their natural state, and keeps that unwanted bacteria under control.
Another change we will see in our mouths as we get older is that of gum recession. When our gums recede, our teeth become more exposed. This can increase our sensitivity to particularly hot or cold food and drinks, which can be painful. In addition, this increased sensitivity can make it uncomfortable to brush your teeth. To reduce sensitivity, consider trying a specialist mouth wash or toothpaste. By reducing pain and discomfort, these products can make it possible for you to continue to brush in your normal manner, thus protecting your teeth from tooth decay by preventing plaque build-up.
As well as this additional advice, it’s also important to maintain the healthy routines you have hopefully established already. Ensure you brush twice a day, and avoid sugary foods and drinks where possible. Keep up your dental check-ups, visiting as often as they advise you to.
If you’re concerned about managing your oral health into old age, get in touch with us today: one of our team will be happy to advise you, and support you in continuing to enjoy your smile.