A lot of things become more challenging as we get older. We are more likely to pull a muscle or get sore. We don’t recover as quickly from and illness or injury. Unfortunately, our dental health isn’t much different. It may become more difficult for our body to fight back against tooth decay and it may become difficult to manually clean the necessary areas of our teeth and gums.
As we age, we are more likely to need the help of medications to control any health issues. It is obviously needed to stay healthy, but these medications can have some unintended consequences. Many blood pressure medications can lead to dry mouth and a change in the composition of your saliva. This change could make you more susceptible to tooth decay or gum disease. Our saliva is very important in combating cavities, and its presence helps to rinse away food. Even with a meticulous and diligent home care routine, the risk of tooth decay increases.
It is also important to note that as we age, our gums tend to recede. This recession exposes the root of the teeth. The surface that covers the root is not as strong as the enamel that covers the crown of the tooth. The exposed roots, the decrease in saliva, and the change in its composition all make us more susceptible to tooth decay.
As we continue to age, it is also a possibility that our physical ability to clean the teeth can decrease. Limited dexterity can make it more difficult to routinely clean the same areas. If our vision worsens, it is more difficult seeing some of the tougher to reach spots.
It is important to be aware of these potential risks we face as we get older. You may need to adjust how frequently you clean your teeth at home at home or how often you visit the dentist.
For more information, visit www.dentistwestchester.com.
Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS