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Top 4 Senior Oral Health Questions

By Jill Hamilton on September 3, 2013 in Dental Health


Healthy aging month-5 senior

Unfortunately, the rumors are true, not everything gets better with age.

The risk of cavities and plaque buildup increases as the years pass. One of the main reasons is that diminished salivary activity results in dry mouth with natural aging. Decreased salivary output inhibits proper cleaning of teeth from food particles and acid buildup by plaque.

So what other risks are associated with age?

We answer 4 of your most pressing questions on aging and your dental health.

Q: Despite a regular oral hygiene routine, my teeth are overly sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. What is the problem?

Recessive gum tissue and loose gums allow tooth root exposure, which often leads to hypersensitivity and increased dental decay, and often cause pain or extreme discomfort. Switching to toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth can ease the problem. If the toothpaste doesn't help, ask your dentist for advice.

Q: Will smoking affect my oral health? What are the risks of oral cancer?

Smoking is a leading cause for not only oral cancer, but also for tooth discoloration, bad breath, and bad taste. Use of tobacco often increases the acidic activity of the mouth and causes the enamel to decay and discolor. As a result, the mouth is much more susceptible to risks of infection and oral cancer.

Q: Does medication affect my oral health?

Yes, certain medications leave your oral health at risk. Many prescriptions cause dry mouth which can lead to cavities and gum disease. When taking prescription medication, be sure to brush your teeth twice daily and floss once. See your dentist two times a year and eat a lot of fruits and veggies!

Q: I have arthritis and I find it very difficult to continue with a conventional oral routine. Suggestions?

A more convenient option would be to switch to an electronic or battery operation toothbrush that allows a better grip and reduces stress on your muscles. Contact your dentist for products best suited for your needs.

Do you have any questions you want answered? Let us know in the comments!