As we’ve shared before here at the Dental Health Blog, oral health has been shown to have a direct effect on overall health, especially as we age. In fact, we’ve published multiple posts on the relationship between oral health and heart disease, as well as diabetes, gum disease and oral cancer, and even poor oral health and arthritis.
While in most cases the causal link remains in question, as in which came first, the chicken or the egg; the most logical and simple conclusion is that poor oral health habits contribute to these diseases, just as these diseases will contribute to oral health problems. After all, if certain diseases of the body affect blood flow for example, that affect will manifest in your mouth as well. And, if your immune system is battling gum disease, it may have little left with which to fight other, more general diseases that could arise.
Since your body works on a holistic model, an integrated system of checks and balances if you will, it makes perfect sense that each area of your body will influence al other areas. This interrelationship of your body’s systems require proper maintenance to function well, and this includes your mouth. In other words, taking care of your mouth is still as important as ever, even as you grow older.
Here are the most common oral health conditions that we see among older patients, with some tips on how you can avoid them:
This potentially serious condition occurs when the gum tissues surrounding teeth become infected because of a buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is recognizable by swollen, red or bleeding gums. Gum disease is a concern for older adults for a number of reasons, including plaque building up on teeth and gums from not developing proper oral health care habits earlier in life.
Tooth decay or root decay
Even at 55-plus years, adults can still develop tooth decay or root decay if gum recession has occurred. It is important for older adults to effectively clean the gums, the teeth, and exposed root surfaces to remove dental plaque and food debris.
At some point, we’ve all tossed back a nice, cold glass of water only to grimace at that sharp, tingling sensation in our teeth. A number of factors cause tooth sensitivity, including brushing too aggressively with a hard-bristled toothbrush, worn tooth enamel, and a cracked or fractured tooth.
The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.