Issues as we get older……

 

As everyone gets older there are several changes that normally occur; some you may feel, some you may not even be aware of. Here are some of the common concerns and how we attempt to address them. As always if you have any of these symptoms then feel free to contact us:

  • DRY MOUTH: dry mouth is called Xerostomia and it can be caused by many common medications and chronic diseases.  A possible conditions caused by xerostomia can be increase in cavities and problems with your gums. With dry mouth you lack saliva and saliva works to wash away food and reduce the affects of acids which can cause tooth decay.
    • Possible treatments:
      • Many over the counter oral care brands have rinses, lozenges, and sprays that help to combat these symptoms.  Most of them also have fluoride to help prevent and combat tooth decay.
      • Stay away from hard, sugar candy which can make the condition worse.
  • GUM PROBLEMS: Anyone can develop gum disease, called Periodontitis, at any age. the film that is left on teeth after eating or drinking can cause the fibers and bone that attach to the teeth to erode away causing tooth loss. It first presents with red, bleeding and then recessed gums. This also can lead to tooth decay and increased sensitivity.
    • Possible Treatments:
      • Brush, Brush, Brush; always brush your teeth at least twice a day for a FULL 2 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste.
      • Floss at least once a day – if flossing is too difficult there are proxy brushes or if it is still challenging then you may have to come in to see our hygienist more than twice a year to ensure good oral health.
  • CAVITIES: Or tooth decay is not just a problem the young, but can be a problem for those that are the young at heart as well. As we get older dry mouth and exposed root surfaces can be the main culprits in decay in older adults. To combat dry mouth many older adults develop a taste for hard, sugar candies. These candies are the foor source for the decay causing bacteria in your mouth.
    • Possible Treatments:
      • Rinse with water after eating or drinking
      • Fluoride toothpaste
      • Rinses
      • Xylitol mints and gum
      • More frequent dental visits

How Your Diet Affects Your Teeth…

Making Healthy choices is something we all strive for, but with our fast paced lives we sometimes fall short of achieving our goals. Your dental health is linked closely to a healthy diet, but sugar and acids are hidden in some foods that many consider to be healthy. Dental decay can sometimes be a surprise, but we can reduce the risk with a few simple steps:

  1. Read Food Labels – high sugar and high citric acid content lead to enamel weakening
  2. Water down fruit juices – most are very acidic, even apple juice
  3. Drink, don’t sip that morning coffee – prolonged exposure to acids and sugars give cavities a chance to grow
  4. Brushing before bed is the most valuable time to brush; Saliva production decreases at night leaving all those sugars and bacteria siting on your teeth longer.
  5. See your dentist even if you are a “star brusher”. A healthy mouth is key to maintaining a healthy body and your dentist has the education and training to diagnose problems before they start to cause you pain.

 

Can’t wait to see you at my Virginia Beach office !

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