Seniors And Oral Health- Protect Your Health At Every Age

By: Gen Wright

Whether you are caring for natural teeth or dentures, seniors face an array of special oral concerns such as root decay and periodontal disease. You can keep your smile healthy by following routine proper oral care and making regular visits to your dentist in Lincoln Park, Dr. Jeffrey Feffer. It is estimated that almost 250 million people, approximately 40%, of the adult population in Europe, the United States and Japan suffer from some form of a loss of teeth. Incidence of tooth loss generally increases with age and can pose a great threat to the health of your smile. There is no reason for you to not keep your teeth your entire life, providing you maintain a healthy balanced diet and practice good oral hygiene.

Special Issues to Know About as a Senior

During your senior years, even if you brush and floss your teeth regularly you may face certain issues when it comes to your oral health. In older adults, cavities and decay on the root surfaces of the teeth appear to be more common. This means it is even more important for you to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and visit your dentist in Lincoln Park regularly.

Sensitivity can also be an increasing problem as you age because your gums naturally recede over time, exposing areas of the tooth that are not protected by enamel. These areas are particularly prone to pain caused by cold or hot foods or beverages. In more severe cases, cold air, as well as sensitivity to sour and sweet drinks and foods can occur. If you experience tooth sensitivity, try an anti-sensitivity toothpaste, but if the problem persists, see your dentist as it may be an indication of a more serious condition, such as a cavity or a cracked or fractured tooth.

Additionally, gum disease is a potentially serious condition that can affect people of all ages, especially over 40. A number of factors can increase the severity of gum disease, including:

* Bad diet
* Poor oral hygiene
* Systemic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer
* Environmental factors such as stress and smoking
* Certain medications that influence gum condition.

Since the earliest stages of gum disease are reversible, it is important to have it diagnosed early on. Regular dental checkups aid in preventing gum disease from developing in the first place by practicing proper oral hygiene.

How Can I Take Care of My Teeth as I Age?

Proper oral care can keep you smiling well into retirement. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle brush. Flossing can help save your teeth by removing plaque between your teeth and below the gumline that your toothbrush can't reach. Many people don't realize how important it is to take care of your gums.

Gingivitis is caused by the bacteria found in plaque that attack the gums with symptoms including red, swollen gums and possible bleeding when you brush. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to visit your dentist in Lakeview immediately because gingivitis can lead to periodontal (gum) disease if the problems persist. Severe gum disease affects approximately 25 percent of 65 to 74 year olds.

Additionally, if you suffer from arthritis, you may find it difficult to brush and floss for proper oral health care and prevention of diseases. When regular oral care is too difficult, your dentist can provide alternatives to aid in flossing and prescribe medication to keep the infection from getting worse. Certain dental products are designed to make dental care less painful for arthritis sufferers.

Contact Dr. Feffer, your Lincoln Park dentist, today for more information on how to properly care for your teeth as you age. Maintaining a healthy mouth may keep your body healthier and help you avoid diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

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Dr. Jeffrey Feffer is a leading and experienced dentist in Lincoln Park and Lakeview. Bringing 30 years of experience to the dental field and a passion for helping each patient achieve their best smile, this dentist in Lakeview and Lincoln Park, is qualified to handle any dental need for patients of every age.

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