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Oral Health Risks That Come with Age

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Aging is a natural part of life, but it can bring its own unique set of health risks. For older adults in particular, this includes an increased risk for oral health issues such as cavities, dry mouth and even oral cancer.

Cavities at the Root of the Tooth

As you get older your gums can recede, meaning that the root of your tooth becomes exposed. This can lead to cavities developing in these areas more easily because they are not protected by enamel like the rest of your tooth. To avoid issues here be sure to practice good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing regularly and visiting your dentist twice a year for a checkup.

Dry Mouth Can Lead to Tooth Decay

Older adults are particularly prone to dry mouth due to changes in their saliva production or side effects from certain medications they may be taking. Dry mouth can cause bacteria buildup in the mouth leading to tooth decay or gum disease if left untreated. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day and avoiding sugary drinks like soda can help keep bacteria levels down and counterbalance any effects from dry mouth. Your dentist may also have additional tips on how best to mitigate these symptoms if necessary.

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Oral Cancer is More Common in Older Adults

Oral cancer is more common in people aged 45 and over and is twice as common in men than women according to researchers. Smoking tobacco products or drinking alcohol excessively increases your risk for developing this type of cancer, so if you’re over 45 it’s important to be aware of this risk factor and take steps towards reducing it if necessary.  Visiting your dentist regularly will give them an opportunity to check for any signs or symptoms associated with oral cancer so that they can refer you for further testing or treatment if needed.

Dental checkups are an important part of maintaining a healthy mouth and preventing problems from developing. Seeing your dentist at least once every six months, paired with a basic good oral hygiene routine, can help keep your teeth and gums healthy, since your dentist will be able to spot any problems or weak spots that you may have been unable to see beforehand. This is especially beneficial for helping prevent issues from becoming more severe over time; the earlier dentist can identify potential problems, the better chance there is of successfully treating them before they become much worse – and potentially much more expensive – farther down the road. Maintaining good oral health is crucial for aging gracefully. By keeping your teeth and gums healthy, you can enjoy many years of good health and vitality. We look forward to helping you achieve this goal!

Dr. Ron Bentham and his team
Dr. Ron Bentham and his team
Image Credit: Dr. Bentham

Call us to learn more about Dr. Ron Bentham’s dental services (on Skaha Road in Penticton) for adults and seniors. Major insurance plans accepted. Accepting new patients!

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