Healthy Gums for Seniors – How to Avoid Periodontitis as You Age
While many people assume tooth loss and dental disease is just part of getting older, this is not the case. Most seniors lose their teeth due to preventable gum disease. Periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, is an infection of gum and connective tissues that surround and support your teeth. The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. It is caused by an accumulation of bacteria-laden plaque on and between teeth. Early cases of gingivitis may have no symptoms. Bleeding, sore or red gums develop later. If this mild stage isn’t treated, it progresses to periodontitis, which affects your connective tissues and bone. Gums recede, and deep, infection-filled pockets form. Tooth loss may follow.
Dental Problems Associated with Aging and Oral Health
- Oral cancer is more common in people after they reach 40 years of age. Make a dental appointment immediately if you see unusual red or white patches inside your mouth.
- Dry mouth is often a result of medications that decrease saliva production. Saliva rinses away food debris and neutralizes harmful acids that can lead to tooth decay. Your doctor or dentist can give you information about treatments for dry mouth.
- Difficulty with brushing and flossing can be caused by arthritis in your hands or loss of dexterity. Your dentist can recommend tools and techniques to improve your ability to clean your teeth properly.
- Decay of the tooth’s root commonly occurs after gums recede due to gum disease or overzealous brushing. The exposed root surfaces are more porous and vulnerable to decay.
- If you have limited mobility or lack transportation, access to your dentist in Columbia can be a problem. Call your local senior services organizations for advice.
Graceful aging and oral health maintenance go hand in hand. The state of your teeth and gums can tell your dentist a lot about what is going on in your body, and recent research suggests that good oral health correlates with good general health and a high quality of life. For this reason, regular dental visits are an important element of proper healthcare. To stay as healthy as possible and detect problems like gingivitis and periodontitis before they result in tooth loss, see your dentist as often as he or she recommends.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Columbia, call Dental One Associates of Columbia today at (410) 346-2350 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Columbia. With 12 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Columbia, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Columbia.