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What does aging mean for my oral health?

As we age, our teeth get more wear and tear.  As a result, you may notice more erosion or abrasion or chipping in your teeth.  In addition, you may notice more gum recession so that you get more food caught in between the teeth because you've lost the papillae, the tissue in between the individual teeth.  As the integrity of the teeth and gums become compromised, the teeth are more susceptible to sensitivity and decay. 

Another factor to consider is that as we get older our salivary flow can decrease oftentimes due to illness or taking medications.  Saliva is the body's natural way of cleansing the mouth.  In order to minimize these negative consequences of aging, toothbrushing twice a day and flossing are imperative, as is a professional dental cleaning every 6 months minimally.
Carol Jahn
Dentist
Different people will have different oral health needs as they age. The good news is that most people can and will retain their teeth for their lifetime. Regular dental care along good home care is the key. 

Arthritis is one of the most common chronic ailments of aging and the hands are most often affected. This might make it hard for you to use dental floss. Instead you might want to try a floss holder, interdental pick or Water Flosser. All will help you effectively clean between your teeth reducing your risk of periodontal problems.

Your oral health needs change as your age. Watch as Dr. Maria Lopez Howell explains what happens to your teeth as you age and why regular dental checkups are important.

 


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.