At Round Lake Family Dentistry, our goal is to not only provide the best dental care experience possible, but we try to educate all of our patients as much as possible to avoid unnecessary discomfort and pain when it comes to dental health.
When people say, “Age is all in your head,” they’re half-way right. But then again, your teeth are in your head, so you likely can’t escape having to pay a little more attention to them after 50. We’re not just talking about teeth, we’re also recommending paying attention to soft tissues in the mouth such as gums.
Although some oral health concerns are fairly common at that age such as gum recession, tooth wear, worn down fillings and old restorations, if you start to be proactive educate yourself, these concerns do not have to be common for you.
As with any other areas in the body, anticipating and recognizing changes in your mouth can help you be on top of your health in this area, so let’s take a look at the main ones you have to watch out for.
1. Dry Mouth: The most common oral health concern you’re likely to experience as you age is dry mouth.
In the medical terms, dry mouth goes by the name Xerostomia, and can be brought on by many contributing factors, including excessive intake of beverages like coffee and alcohol.
Another big contributor to dry-mouth especially in middle age and elderly population is the medications we take to treat various illnesses. The list of the medications isn’t a short one as there are at least 400 medications that can contribute to Xerostomia, including medications for high blood pressure and depression.
2. Ill-fitting Dentures: First off, it’s important to note that at Round Lake Family Dentistry, our dentists believe in helping to keep natural teeth for all of our patients as long as possoble. But when a tooth needs to be replaced, we offer Dental Implants as the next best alternative so we can avoid having to fabricate dentures that so many people come to hate. With that said, if you wear dentures, it’s very important that they fit properly. Ill fitting Dentures can cause pain or move around in the mouth causing sores that can be quite painful.
Ill-fitting dentures can also cause a fungal infection thrush, which could lead to you having a rash inside of your mouth requiring medications to avoid further complications. As always, we encourage you to come in and see your Round Lake and Round Lake Beach dentists if you have any issues with your current dentures.
3. Physical Obstacles to Good Oral Care: As we get older, we sometimes find ourselves having physical limitations that may limit our desire to maintain good oral care at home. Arthritis, vision loss, or physical injuries are a few of the most common.
To combat these concerns, using a floss pick to get between teeth can be helpful. The regular use of oral rinses can assist in dislodging difficult to remove food debris, while adding to the overall health of one’s mouth and gum tissue.
Here’s how to choose the best mouth rinse for your needs!
4. Naturally Receding Gums: “Long in the tooth” isn’t just a quaint expression about gaining wisdom with age – it also refers to how our teeth appear to “lengthen” as we grow older. In other words, it’s a fancy way of saying our gums are receding.
While some degree of gum recession is indeed natural, this predisposes us to cavities along the root structure of the tooth where enamel doesn’t exist. So, as one ages, flossing, brushing and rinses are more important than ever.
5. Gum Disease: Natural gum recession is one thing, a part of growing up if you will. Gum disease, however, is preventable. Each of the above items in this list can contribute to gum disease, and good oral care can prevent it.
Failing to do so can lead to a need for dentures at its most extreme, and pain and swollen gums at its least. We’d prefer you experienced neither concern!
6. Loss of Natural Teeth: If a tooth is lost due to decay, gum disease or trauma, and not replaced with a dental implant or other options such as a denture, it can have serious complications for the health of the jawbone. Surrounding teeth can shift causing mis-alignment and jaw pain. Ask your Round Lake dentist about dental implants. We make it very affordable with monthly payment options.
7. Lack of Insurance Coverage: As you get into retirement age and if you are without dental coverage, dental care expenses can sometimes be daunting. At our office, we offer an in-house Dental Savings Plan that allows patients to get atleast their routine check ups and cleanings at a low rate of about $25/month. If you end up needing any dental work, you can get upto 20% off any treatment costs.
Goal is to be proactive and focus on preventing any dental problems so any of these above mentioned hindrances do not cause more suffering or stress. If you have any questions about anything mentioned in this post, please feel free to call your Round Lake dentist @ (847) 740-0217.