It’s never too late to adopt a proactive mentality. With an increasingly aging population the adoption of healthy habits and lifestyles are more important than ever. Research has found that aging makes people more vulnerable to mental and physical health problems. Proactive preventive health may improve quality of life as active agers push forward to their golden years. Especially in Florida, where almost 50% of the population is over 45 years, it is increasingly important to make life choices that support good health and well-being.
What many people underestimate is the importance of oral health and the impact it has on overall health and well being. There are several reasons for maintaining oral health at any age. Let’s review these reassuring facts about the importance of preventative dental care and why it should be a priority for overall health and well being.
Saliva preserves teeth and decreases germs by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth. A condition called Xerostomia, better known as dry mouth, is a common side effect of medications routinely given to our aging population. Xerostomia can be very uncomfortable, can cause bad breath and is also a contributing factor in the increasing prevalence of dental caries in the aging population. Reduced salivary flow can lead to tooth decay, discoloration, inflamed gums and infection and bone loss.
Wear & Tear
Gum tissue naturally recedes with age, so the soft root tissue becomes exposed and is more prone to decay. Tooth surfaces are constantly exposed to acidic foods such as fruits, coffee & sodas, which dissolve the protective enamel. Weakened enamel can eventually lead to decay or fractures which can set the stage for other dental problems.
Studies suggest that oral bacteria and inflammation might play a role in deteriorating health if not managed properly. According to the Centers for Disease Control, two out of every three seniors aged 65 and over have gum disease. A severe form of gum disease, known as periodontitis, may cause bleeding, swollen gums, difficulty eating, and even tooth loss. As a result, many individuals don't realize they have dental problems until it has progressed. Research suggests that gum disease has been linked to or may contribute to the progression of other systemic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and oral cancer.
Not keeping up with your oral health causes problems at any age, but the older we get, the bigger the problems become. Advanced periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and bone loss. Missing and loose teeth make it difficult to eat and talk. With limited food choices it is difficult to get good nutrition which leads to declining health. Speech difficulties combined with changes in facial structure often lead to self-consciousness, isolation or depression.
Good Oral Hygiene Habits for Good Health
Gum disease may be prevented with frequent dental checkups and routine dental care. When it comes to maintaining a healthy grin, a good home care routine can improve your dental health. Follow these dental tips and keep your oral care a priority in your daily routine:
- Brush and floss twice per day and after meals.
- Use a fluoride rinse as a part of your home care as directed by your dentist.
- An electric toothbrush is ideal for those with a loss of dexterity.
- Oral irrigation can help keep gums clean below the surface.
- Oral cancer screening- Initial signs can be subtle and easily missed. The sooner oral cancer is detected, the better your prognosis.
Routine Dental Visits
The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist twice per year for an exam and professional or deep cleanings. With proper diagnosis and treatment, many major dental issues can be prevented or contained.
Although not limited to older people, aging adults are more likely than the general population to suffer from tooth decay and loss. Active Agers are savvy and with the internet overflowing with health and wellness information, they are more educated, assertive, health-conscious, and engaged in their care. Spring is the season for new beginnings and it is the ideal time to make changes and take charge. By combining regular physical exercise with a nutritious diet and proactive health and dental care, people are better able to prevent diseases - to stay healthier, happier and more content into their golden years.
Give BayView Dental a call today for more information at 941-676-9765 or visit us at https://www.bayviewdental.com/.