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Beautiful Beamers at Any Age

By Jill Hamilton on January 31, 2013 in Healthy Living


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Just 50 short years ago, life expectancy was 67 for men and 73 for women. Advances in technology, public health initiatives and better understanding our bodies have all contributed to an increase of more than 7 extra years for both men and women. The most recent data indicates that life expectancy from birth is at an all-time high with women at 81 and men at 76 years.

We are now faced with learning how to serve our health better with preventative measures like diets, exercise and better oral health care.

Improvements in oral health have resulted in adults 65 and older keeping more of their natural teeth longer than previous generations. Since beautiful smiles are never out of season, we want to remind you that practicing good oral health habits is more important than ever.

“Tooth decay and gum disease are lifetime challenges and adults are just as likely as children to experience new tooth decay2,” said Dr. Ed Schooley, DDS, dental director for Delta Dental of Iowa. “Older adults who take any one of several hundred medications that can cause a decrease in saliva should be especially careful because a lack of saliva brings a much higher risk for tooth decay.”

Dental disease is cumulative over a lifetime, so almost all adults ages 65 and older have had dental caries in their permanent teeth.3 There's no coincidence that being “long in the tooth” is a saying associated with age.
Smart dental hygiene is still very important for those seniors who have lost their regular teeth. Routine dental visits can not only help dentists ensure dentures and other prosthetic replacements fit properly, but may also detect life-threatening diseases like oral cancer early when they are at a more treatable stage.

1 The 2012 Statistical Abstract.. The National Data Book. Data Source: U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Reports (NVSR), Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2008, Vol. 59, No. 2, December 2010. Accessed August 27, 2012 at:http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0104.pdf
2 Griffin SO, Griffin PM, Swann JL, Zlobin N. New coronal caries in older adults: implications for prevention. J Dent Res. 2005;84:715–720.
3“Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) in Seniors (Age 65 and Over).” National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/DentalCaries/DentalCariesSeniors65older.Accessed August, 2012.