Mouth, Teeth And Gum Health For Over 50s
Guest post by Mia Johnson
Once upon a time, old age was a death sentence for your teeth. Without proper dental care, you’re bound to run into dental health problems as you get older. This is why there is currently extra emphasis on improving gum and teeth health for people over fifty. You don’t need to make any special lifestyle or diet changes to keep your radiant smile healthy. All it takes is to pay attention to a couple small details.
Keep saliva flowing
The constant flow of saliva is integral to proper dental health. Saliva washes away the acidic byproducts of bacteria and helps keep teeth from being degraded. It also contains calcium and phosphates, which teeth absorb little by little when there’s saliva around them. If that weren’t enough, saliva has secretory antibodies which can further help the mouth protect from bacteria.
Having a dry mouth isn’t just a small inconvenience. It’s a threat to your mouth and tooth health. It’s a lot more common in folks over fifty, simply because they are more likely to take certain types of medication. A lot of different medications have mouth dryness as a side effect. It can prove to be detrimental to your mouth hygiene.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to solve mouth dryness. All you have to do is get acquainted with our good-old friend H2O. A couple of extra glasses of water per day should do the trick. Make sure to have one after every meal and you should be good.
Don’t rush brushing
Brushing your teeth is the most important part of your dental hygiene routine. Despite what commercials might tell you, the toothpaste you use generally doesn’t matter. It’s the brushing action which really keeps your choppers healthy and strong.
Most people tend to rush into their brushing routine. They think that a minute or so of brushing will do the job just fine. After all, you if you brush twice a day, that should be enough, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Past a certain age, you might want to consider making brushing a priority. Teeth need that extra bit of attention to stay clean from all sorts of bad substances that accumulate on their surface.
Gingivitis is a common problem in oral health. Sometimes, your gums get swollen, red, and tender for one reason or another. It’s usually an infection which probably won’t cause any issues. It’s a different story when you’re over fifty. If left untreated, gingivitis could develop into gum disease. This can spread the infection and cause it to affect your jaw bone and teeth. It could even lead to a tooth falling out.
Whenever you have these symptoms, you should head to the dentist’s office whenever you can. A check-up will help determine what went wrong and what would be the best course of action going forward. Trust your dentist to make the right decision.
Away with tooth decay
Bones tend to get weaker as you get older. Teeth are no different. Even if you maintain relatively good oral hygiene, it’s inevitable that at least one or two teeth will show some signs of decay. If left untreated, this could lead to massive decay which rots a huge portion of your tooth.
You need to nip the problem in the bud before it spreads and hits your gums. Removing the tooth would be the best option, but who wants to leave a gap in their teeth? Fortunately, you never have to worry about your smile being ruined because a rotting tooth can always be replaced by an artificial one.
Your dentist will first install some strong dental implants and then add a gorgeous new tooth on top of them. Nobody will be able to tell the difference and you get to avoid the complications of a tooth infection. It’s a win-win scenario.
You should be flossing
Flossing is one of those things you’re supposed to do regularly, but most people don’t. It’s hard enough dedicating five minutes to brushing your teeth, having to floss adds another couple of minutes to an already busy schedule. By the time you master flossing quickly, you’ll already be sick of the activity.
Dentists don’t tell you to floss for no reason. Toothbrushes can’t reach all that deep between your teeth. When something accumulates, it becomes even worse because not even toothpaste can reach these spots. After a while, the space between your teeth become a breeding ground for very harmful bacteria.
It’s not all that difficult to keep your dental health in check after hitting fifty. You can still take care of your teeth as long as you know what problems to look out for. Apply some of these tips to your daily dental hygiene routine and you can be sure that your pearly whites will remain intact and healthy for a long while.
About the Author
Mia Johnson is a writer with a ten-year-long career in journalism. She has written extensively about health, fitness, and lifestyle. A native to Melbourne, she now lives in Sydney with her 3 dogs where she spends her days writing and taking care of her 900 square feet garden.