Ageing and dental health

Have you noticed an increase in dental health problems as you have grown older?

Despite common belief – losing your teeth as you get older is not inevitable. Provided that you take proper care of your oral health and have regular dental check-ups, you can continue to enjoy smiling, talking and eating comfortably with your own natural teeth, and be free of dental pain or complications.

There are a number of reasons that may contribute to dental health problems, many of which point to a decrease in saliva production. Saliva not only plays an important role in digestive processes, but is also critical in defending the mouth against diseases, and neutralizing the acids it is exposed to via the foods and drinks being consumed.

Reduced saliva production isn’t the only factor involved in the decline of dental health with ageing. As with the rest of your body, your mouth changes as you age, often leaving it more susceptible to developing issues. For example, the nerves within your teeth may shrink over time, reducing tooth sensitivity. While this might sound like a positive, it also means reduced sensitivity to detecting issues that could be forming in your teeth.

As you age, you may also develop other issues that make it difficult to maintain your oral health on your own. Common problems such as arthritis can reduce your ability to brush and floss your teeth effectively, and for some, a decline in mental function can result in forgetfulness or complacency towards oral hygiene practices. In these situations, it is important to seek help and to have regular dental examinations in order to maintain and prevent any problems from developing.

Gum disease also tends to become more prevalent amongst older adults. One reason being that it often only becomes painful at the advanced stage. If left untreated, the gums may begin to pull away from the teeth, allowing food particles and plaque to collect, leading to further destruction of the gums and eventually, tooth loss.

In order to maintain your oral health and retain your natural teeth as you age, it is important to establish an oral care routine that includes brushing and flossing twice daily, followed by rinsing with mouthwash. Along with this routine, you can further improve your oral health outcomes by maintaining a healthy diet, increasing water consumption, limiting your intake of sugary and acidic foods and beverages, and avoiding smoking.

Another important factor in preventing dental health problems and improving your chances of retaining your natural teeth as you age, is to schedule regular visits to your dentist. At the Tindale Dental Centre in Penrith, our dentists are committed to providing you with state-of-the-art dental care, to ensure that you can continue to enjoy your natural teeth throughout the course of your life. We also offer restorative treatments as well as solutions for missing teeth.

If you’re concerned about your ageing teeth, call Tindale Dental today and schedule an appointment with one of our highly experienced and caring dentists. Contact us on (02) 4726 5400.