Reasons to Pay Better Attention to Your Dental Health as You Age

dental health

Poor oral maintenance is cited by the CDC as one of the main causes of severe gum disease, otherwise called periodontal disease, or the gradual pulling away of gum tissues from the teeth leading the teeth to loosen, among other oral complications. This reality is so prevalent that over 70 percent of the population aged 65 and up suffer from this crippling disease.

You’ve reached this age, so did your teeth that endured decades of abuse. Find out why you should not lax up in caring for them:

Health Risks

There is more to your pearly whites that have tarnished than meets the eye. Sure, you diligently brush your teeth twice a day and for at least two minutes each time. But, have you been consistent with getting them deep-cleaned in the dentists?

No matter how young or old a person is, dirt is bound to accumulate in his mouth. Food debris that brushing and gargling fail to remove eventually feeds mouth-residing bacteria. This leads them to multiply in infectious levels and, in turn, results in gum, tongue, and cheek inflammations.

The symptoms do not stop in one of our body’s gaping holes. If not treated duly, the infection can spread to the throat. From there, it is only a matter of time that it reaches either the gastrointestinal tract or the lungs.

Even remotely, bacteria can penetrate into the bloodstream, so much that it outnumbers our body’s bacteria-fighting white blood cell supply. Once contaminated blood reaches the heart, its lining becomes susceptible to swelling which leads to the condition called endocarditis that can be treated only either by antibiotic medications or a prophylactic surgical procedure that extracts accumulated puss. As bacterial overload also causes blood sugar to rise, that which is caused by unkempt teeth, gums, and tongue may also lead to lifelong diseases like diabetes.

Role in Nutrition

Your mouth plays a forerunner role in nutrition as it is where the food we eat enters first. Eating involves more sophisticated steps than we usually mind. We have to scoop in an amount that leaves space for it to be chewed and ground inside our mouths.

Upon the entry of food, our salivary glands, otherwise called our taste buds, sends nervous signals which then trigger the release of saliva which initially lubricates the entire process of digestion. Then, your teeth break down the food and turn it into mush so it can be swallowed and further broken down by gastric acids in the body.

woman smiling

Imagine your mouth is plagued with plaque and cavities, therefore, leaving your teeth feeling rough and looking dirty. More than that, these indicators of poor dental hygiene could lead not only to swollen gums but also painful teeth due to exposed nerves. Depriving your teeth of even the bare minimum of care also makes you more prone to having mouth sores.

Overall, having these dirt deposits and lesions in your mouth breeds discomfort. Chewing and even the mere presence of food in your mouth becomes a difficult task. In turn, you can’t chew your food properly or you can’t eat adequately, therefore, making you undernourished.

Anyone would agree that food is one of the simplest pleasures in life. Now that you’re old, you want to indulge in as much food as possible, at least before your doctor restricts your diet. Do yourself the favor of keeping your mouth healthy, and so you can enjoy eating.

Making Up for Years of Neglect

For reasons only you fully know, including previously leading a hectic life, you might have neglected your oral health. Although you did not intend this, you can attest how this neglect took a toll at least on how good you feel with the set of teeth you presently have. Don’t fret, though, as there are several procedures that can now cater to the woes you have about your teeth.

If the enamel of your teeth has worn down, and they either became weaker or are now gapping, there is sadly no way to bring it back to its fortified state. However, you can get your teeth checked by an orthodontist. Your dentist can recommend getting your teeth bonded with a similarly-colored resin to fill up cracks and spaces. In the worse case that you’ve lost a couple of teeth, he or she can also recommend undergoing a teeth replacement procedure.

The best way to prevent oral diseases or chronic discomfort is preventive maintenance, that is, religiously brushing your teeth and going to your dentist appointments. Doing this consistently eventually pays off as you age. Even while you’re already old and have a fair share of tooth and gum issues, you can still take charge of your oral health through widely available dental services.


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