Taking good care of your teeth is essential regardless of your age. Right from when your milk teeth set in, your parents are reminded to help you take good care of your oral health. As you grow older and become accountable for your dental hygiene, you are constantly reminded of the need to brush your teeth properly and visit a dentist regularly. This responsibility does not diminish with age. In fact, as you grow older, there is an even greater need to ensure you are on top of your oral health needs. This is because the risk to develop dental issues is higher as you age. Growing old is a privilege that a few get to enjoy; it is also a responsibility that must be handled with care. Knowing what to anticipate as far as your oral health care is concerned will help you become prepared for your old age, so that you can walk into the sunset with a beautiful and healthy smile on your face.

At Sherwood Dental, we encourage our patients to get started on proper dental hygiene habits early on, so that they can enjoy their retirement with a full set of healthy teeth.

Tooth Discoloration

The food you eat and the lifestyle you engage in has an impact on the colour of your teeth. If you enjoy smoking a lot and cannot go without your coffee even for a day, you are at higher risk of staining your teeth. The older you are, the longer you have been exposed to this staining risk and the higher your chance of discolouring your teeth. That being said, it is important to note that some slight discoloration of teeth is inevitable as you age. It is normal for your pearly whites to not be as white in your eighties as they were while you were in your twenties. However, you can stop the discoloration from getting out of hand by ensuring that your lifestyle choices and dental hygiene habits are healthy. If you must indulge in your smoke and coffee, make sure you brush your teeth properly so that the staining agents are not left to linger in your mouth.

Tooth Decay and Cavities

Tooth cavities are not just a preserve of the young ones in their teen years who are just discovering the joy of sweet snacks and sugary drinks. As a senior, you can also experience tooth decay and cavities especially if your dental hygiene habits are questionable. Cavities can be very painful, especially when the toothache sets in at night, which always seems to be the case. Cavities are definitely a problem that you can do without. Always brush and floss your teeth to prevent bacteria from accumulating and breaking down your teeth enamel. Rinsing your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash will also help to keep the bacteria at bay.

Tooth Loss

As you go through life, there’s always the chance that tooth decay or injury will take away one or two of your teeth. This is not the kind of news that anybody wants to hear but it is the reality on the ground. The older you are, the longer you have been exposed to the threats that cause tooth loss. As a senior, it is important to ensure that the teeth you are left with stay with you because natural teeth are always better and stronger than replacement teeth. Clean your teeth properly with no fail. Floss every night before bed. Honour your dental appointments and stay away from sinful snacks that rot your teeth. This is the only way to prevent tooth loss.

Bad Breath

Bad breath is uncomfortable for the sufferer and the people around them as well. In many cases, bad breath is not a condition on its own but rather a symptom of an underlying problem. For instance, bad breath could be as a result of gum disease or dry mouth. Bad breath could also be caused by poor dental hygiene. If you do not clean your teeth properly, food debris will accumulate and as bacteria breaks this debris down, there will be a pungent smell. This pungent smell will make its presence known as bad breath. If you have always cleaned your teeth properly and start to experience bad breath, have a talk with your dentist. They will advise you on the root cause of the problem and then recommend solutions for it.

Improper Care of Tooth Dentures

Many people believe that dentures do not require the same care as natural teeth do. This could not be further from the truth. When dentures are not taken care of properly, they become discoloured and may even accumulate food debris which later builds up to plaque. While this plaque will not necessarily lead to cavities as it would in a real, natural tooth, it may irritate your gums and lead to gum disease. As such, it is best to ensure dentures are cleaned every night before bed. Brush them as you would your real teeth and let them soak overnight in a cleaning solution. Don’t forget to rinse them off every time you have a meal, as you would normally do with your real teeth.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a condition that is often symptomatic of an underlying disease or condition. Also referred to as xerostomia, dry mouth is characterized by a feeling of severe dehydration in your mouth. You might feel as if you just chewed and swallowed cardboard all at once. Often, dry mouth comes about because the salivary glands are not producing enough saliva for the mouth. Saliva plays a hydrating and cleansing role in the mouth. Underproduction of saliva might be due to interference by certain medications. Seniors often have several medications that they are taking to manage certain disease, and these medications might lead to dry mouth. There are various ways of remedying dry mouth including sipping water regularly, avoiding or limiting your coffee and tobacco intake and even chewing on sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontitis, is a disease that requires time to develop and manifest. This is because the process leading up to gum disease requires sustained neglect of dental hygiene. For gum disease to show up, an individual will need to practice poor dental hygiene over a long period of time to the extent where the gums become inflamed. The fact that gum disease grows silently means that it often shows up in old age. As such, it is common to find many seniors suffering from gum disease while they should be enjoyed a problematic retirement instead. The best and only way to prevent gum disease is to pay attention to recommended oral hygiene best practices. That is, you should brush, floss, use antiseptic mouthwash, make good lifestyle choices and visit your dentist regularly. Good dental practices will always keep dental problems at bay, and your dentist will be on hand to check that your teeth are responding well to your dental hygiene routine.

If you are experiencing any of these problems, visit us at Sherwood Dental. We are the most preferred Kitchener dentist and are always happy to help our patients handle all their oral health problems.