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Looking after your teeth when you get older

If you talk to many people about aging and health many will talk about their joints or mobility and so considering teeth and oral health probably isn’t top of the agenda. Caring for your teeth is just an important in later years than as at any other age, but when getting older it is important to remember that you should apply the same level of health care to your teeth too. In this posting we look closer at some of the things that could happen and how you may wish to help yourself.

1) As we get older teeth can become discoloured far easier and people can become quite sensitive about this because it impacts on their look.

* Making sure teeth are cleaned regularly can help maintain your white for longer.

* If you smoke, it’s never too late to quit and this would be an ideal step in many directions for your health.


2) Teeth can become weaker and more fragile with age. You may start to notice that chips or cracks become visible and problematic.

* If you know you grind your teeth, stopping this problem should be a first priority.

* Try to cut down on the amount of highly acidic or sugary foods eaten which can contribute to making teeth weaker.

* Make your dentist aware of any changes to the structure of your teeth so they can advise accordingly.


3) Gums can recede far quicker and easier as a person gets older. The eventual result of this can be tooth loss which is obviously something everyone wants to avoid along with varying degrees of associated pain.

* Visit the dentist regularly so any changes in your gums can be monitored and dealt with at the earliest stage.

* Toothpastes and mouth washes can be purchased which help treat then maintain the gums and surrounding area, which can be an effective first / self-treatment for this problem.


4) Many of us will take more medications with older age. A common side effect of medications is a dry mouth – i.e. one that produces less saliva.

* Whilst this might seem like a passing problem reduced saliva is actually an important thing to be aware of for two reasons. One, saliva helps with the breaking down of food. Two, it can help naturally protect teeth against decay.

* Chewing gum (sugar free of course) can be a temporary way to increase saliva in the mouth, especially after critical times such as eating food.

The purpose of the article is designed to make you look out for these things and become more aware of them. Some people may not even know that one thing can be related to or cause a consequence of another. Like any preventative advice this is often half the problem and being prepared for it can make the importance difference.


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