Aging Impacts on Oral Health

We all grow old in due time, that’s how it works. With all the activities that we fill our lives with, our bodies can really start to wear down over the years. For instance, our teeth encounter more friction throughout our lives than just about any other body part, and after a while, it really starts to show. This is why it’s important for us to a get a jump on these things as early as possible. The more preventative care you take, the lower your odds for health complications later in life. Keep your odds good, by remembering to see your dentist twice a year for a Tulsa teeth cleaning.

Some of the negative impacts of aging upon our teeth can be abated through responsible preventative care, but there are other problems for which we can do less. The fields of medicine are advancing at a continually increasing rate, though, and there’s no telling what we’ll be hearing about next.

 

Diminished Taste

Some adults may begin to experience a diminished sense of taste, often starting between the ages of forty and sixty. From ages forty to fifty, our taste buds shrink and depopulate, reducing our access to taste. Currently, there is little that can be done to reverse this, but there are ongoing research endeavors. The most common “fix” is to use heavier quantities of spices and seasonings. If doing this, it’s important to remember not to overconsume salt and to be careful not to irritate your mouth or stomach with too much of such things as capsaicin (what makes peppers spicy).

 

Worn out Enamel

 

The enamel of our teeth wears out. It can be delayed and even repaired, but for now, we don’t have a way to completely prevent it. Maintaining good oral health practices will prolong the life of your teeth’s enamel. Seeing your dentist twice a year for a Tulsa teeth cleaning will also help. Talk to your dentist about seals and other resources at their disposal to help protect your teeth from enamel degradation.

 

Losing Bone Mass

Even our smile can even change with time as our features shift. Bones tend to lose mass and become somewhat more brittle with age, which can contribute to visible alterations and even affect the height of our jawbone. While the effects are often mild, it’s still a good idea for us to make sure we get enough calcium in our regular diet. Taking calcium supplements can help to maintain a healthy bone structure and delay, or even avoid, some of these problems. This is one of those topics that we should all discuss with our physicians as we age. Maintaining healthy bones has a dramatic impact on our health and quality of life.

 

Dry Mouth

Saliva is one of the most important components of good oral health. Unfortunately, the glands in our mouth that create saliva tend to experience altered production as we age. On the one hand, you could end up over-producing saliva, which though often considered uncomfortable, isn’t going to cause oral damage. You might, however, start under-producing saliva, in which case it becomes important to speak with an expert about addressing this. In the meantime, make sure to keep your mouth wet by increasing water intake, and work extra hard to keep food debris off your teeth.

As always with proper oral health care, the most important thing to do is to make sure that you are brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and seeing your dentist twice a year for a Tulsa teeth cleaning. Schedule a teeth cleaning appointment now with Tulsa Modern Dental!

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20388072

https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/mouth-and-dental-disorders/biology-of-the-mouth-and-teeth/effects-of-aging-on-the-mouth-and-teeth