Maintaining Your Dental Health As You Grow Older

Posted on: 8 November 2019


As a person grows older, they may start to experience an increasing number of dental problems. Although it may be more difficult to maintain your oral health as you age, there are measures you can take to avoid some dental issues. Here are a few ways to help preserve your dental health.

Get a Dental Implant to Replace a Lost Tooth

Over time, a person may lose one or more natural teeth. However, there are options available for tooth replacement, such as dental implants.

A dental implant is inserted into the jawbone to take the place of the roots of a lost tooth. Once it is in position in the bone, the implant can transmit bite force to the jawbone.

The transference occurs as a person chews. The force is first received by the crown that covers the implant and is passed on to the implant itself before reaching the jawbone. In response to the force, the jawbone is stimulated to produce additional bone cells that support its mass.

Other tooth-replacement devices do not stimulate the jawbone. Thus, the bone can atrophy. As it shrinks, it may provide too little support to the patient's natural teeth, leading to their loosening and eventual loss. 

Rinse With a Chlorhexidine-based Mouthwash

Gum problems may become more prevalent with age. The gingival tissues are inflamed by acids that are produced by oral bacteria. The more bacteria that are present in the mouth, the more acid is produced. Additionally, the bacteria can infect the gums, leading to periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease. 

To help control the number of bacteria in the oral cavity, you can use a mouth rinse that includes chlorhexidine. Chlorhexidine is antimicrobial and does not dry out the mouth.

Maintain Stable Blood Sugar Levels

Older people frequently develop diabetes. The condition itself may not cause oral health issues. However, unstable blood sugar levels can increase the likelihood of gum disease and decay. Thus, if you develop diabetes, it is important to take your medication as directed and follow your physician's advice concerning exercise. 

Higher blood sugar levels can increase the amount of sugar that is available to the bacteria in the mouth. As a result, bacterial numbers may rise, and consequently, the amount of oral acid may also increase.

To learn more ways to maintain your dental health as you grow older, schedule an appointment with family dentistry services in your local area.