Healthy Teeth

3 Dental Problems Senior Citizens Often Face

The golden years typically come with new health concerns that you or your aging parents may have never considered before. In the UK, the population of those aged 65 and above numbered at 10.8 million as of mid-2012. By 2032, 22.4% of our country’s population will be aged 65 and above, up from the current 17.2%.

Weybridge OrthodonticsWith this change in population age comes a change in attitude among our elderly loved ones. The 2009 UK Adult Dental Health Survey shows a continuing decline in the number of seniors with no teeth. It also reveals that most older people want to keep their teeth.

As you age, certain dental and health problems are likely to arise, which is why regular visits to the dentist become that more important. Awareness of these problems helps in treating them early or preventing them all together.

  1. Dry Mouth

Calcium and phosphate in the saliva is how our mouth protects against tooth decay. A common side effect of medications taken by seniors is dry mouth. Without protection from oral bacteria, you are at higher risk of developing tooth decay. Sugar-free gum, special over-the-counter products, and drinking adequate amounts of water can help relieve the dryness, but if the problem persists, have it checked by your doctor or dentist.

  1. Tooth Decay

Yes, you can still get cavities at 50, and these can appear on surfaces of teeth that were never a problem area before. You can also get these around old fillings or at the root. This is because as we age, the root of our teeth becomes softer, more exposed.

A quick remedy is fluoride, which only about 10% of the country’s total population have access to in the form of water from the tap. Add a daily fluoride rinse to your oral hygiene habit, or ask your dentist about a fluoride prescription gel.

  1. Tooth Overcrowding

As we age, our teeth shift, and this becomes problematic not because it might change your look (or facial structure), but because it might make cleaning more difficult, which leads to more decay. The misaligned teeth also pose a risk of erosion and damage to surrounding bone and tissue. Add to that the likelihood of seniors developing some sort of periodontal disease, and they could be losing their even quicker.

If your teeth are indeed shifting, you should see one of our orthodontics experts who may prescribe getting a retainer or some other teeth straightening appliance, depending on the extent of the problem. You may also need to see the dentist more regularly for cleanings. Modern brace treatments like Invisalign and Incognito can also provide a suitable design to fit in with your lifestyle.

No matter your age, we can provide the right orthodontic care for your needs. As one of the largest orthodontic practices in South East England, Weybridge Orthodontics can provide the appropriate treatment to keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

Stop Chewing on Tobacco to Save Your Teeth

Whether you are a recent smoker or far gone in the habit, you now have more reasons to quit smoking. Studies show significant impacts of habitual tobacco use on oral health and dental treatments. Here is how smoking affects your teeth and how quitting the habit early may yet save them:

Teeth discolouration

Dentists in WeybridgeYour teeth have little time to fight and recover from the bacteria in tobacco when you smoke regularly. Nicotine sticks to your teeth and gums, leaving dark spots. Combine your habit with poor oral hygiene and you may end up with permanent teeth stains.

Tooth decay

Smoking reduces the immune system’s ability to fight infection. The more you smoke, the higher the chances of bacteria ruining your teeth, causing decay.

Gum disease

The Journal of Clinical Periodontology revealed that smokers are about six times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers. The gradual plaque build-up causes gums to become inflamed and to recede. The same study showed that gum problems worsened for those who continued the habit.

Tooth Loss

Tissues and bones that put teeth and gums together recede as disease ravages your mouth. Your teeth will become loose, fall out or require extraction.

Failure of dental work

Researchers from Valencia University found out that about one in every three implant failures occurred in smokers; one in five patients with early failures smoked over 10 cigarettes per day. Tobacco can stop dental implants, fillings and other treatments from settling and doing what they are supposed to. Even if you wear aligners, tobacco may further weaken gums and bones, altering the outcome of your orthodontic treatment.

Quitting the habit saves your teeth

Researchers noted improvements in gum health for those who quit in a year. Participants experienced enhanced well-being and heightened senses of taste and smell, as well. A report by the European Working group revealed that stopping smoking eight weeks before receiving an implant significantly boosts the dental work’s effectiveness.

Smoking has detrimental effects to oral health and dental treatments. Oral health experts suggest proper oral care and regular visits to the dentist for counselling and treatment to save the smoker’s teeth. Dentists in Weybridge provide a wide range of dental treatments for healthy teeth and overall well-being. Contact us for more information about our services.