Some people go six feet under without a single bit of tooth plague in their mouth. You can attribute it to genetics or good dental hygiene, but most of us aren’t that lucky. As we grow older, our general health deteriorates, and teeth are no exception. Just like bones, teeth are more prone to breaking when we get over 50. That’s when the calcium levels in our body start to decrease.
The biggest oral health problem you’ll be facing in your retirement days will be dry mouth. In medical terms this is called Xerostomia, a condition brought upon you for a number of reasons. Too much coffee, alcohol, salty foods, and there you go. Another contributing factor is the medication people take for treating numerous illnesses. There are over 400 medications that are known to induce Xerostomia. High blood pressure medications and depression treatment drugs are just some of the substances that come to mind.
There are some health conditions that may increase the chance of developing tooth and gum problems. People with type 2 diabetes are at greater risk of getting an infection. One can think of gingivitis, an inflammatory gums condition, where they tend to bleed pretty easily. And if left untreated it gets worse and leads to periodontists, a serious chronic gum infection that damages the bone structure supporting the teeth. Tooth loss is the certain outcome in this kind of situation. Then there is a thing called Syȍngren’s syndrome, where the human body destroys its own glands used for moisture production. Very often it strikes middle – aged women. Hormonal changes that these women go through when they reach menopause often make their gums sensitive and sore, and their saliva production is reduced.
Smoking won’t do you any good
Smoking cigarettes also won’t do you any good. Yellow, stained and unattractive teeth are just a part of the story. Smoking causes less blood and oxygen circulating in your mouth, hence increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Tobacco even changes the consistency and thickness of your saliva, making it less productive in its primary department, protection of your teeth. Quit smoking and you will not only improve your general dental health, you will also greatly reduce the risk of developing mouth cancer.
25 percent of people over 50 can’t produce enough saliva to keep their mouth moist. But, all is not lost as we age. If you find yourself experiencing similar problems, good oral hygiene habits are of the utmost importance.
Maintaining dental health is a must for a person of any age. But if are over 50, some tips can help you keep a happy face, and smile for that matter.
In most places around the world tap water contains fluoride. Fluoride protects the enamel, the hard mineralized surface of teeth.
- Stay away from acidic drinks and snacks.
- Go easy on the booze.
- Never forget to brush your teeth. Twice per day is almost mandatory.
- Floss after every meal.
- Pay a visit to your dentist, at least twice a year.
- Consider getting your teeth whitened
Keeping your mind sharp and practicing some good dental habits may secure you a perfect set of teeth until the end of your days.