Tips for Better Dental Care as You Age

Aging is a natural part of life many of us will be lucky enough to experience. While no one likes to think about graying hair or slowed physical movement, there are a lot of things that you can do to age gracefully and avoid unnecessary issues into your senior years.

When it comes to dental health, taking care of your teeth is even more important as you age. Here are some things to consider.

Brushing More Often is Recommended

If you’ve been following the “brush two times a day” rule and are over age fifty, you should reconsider your oral health. It’s actually recommended that you clean your teeth and mouth more often as plaque builds up quickly and can be hard to get rid of – opening the door for other health issues. Be sure to use a soft bristle tooth brush though since frequent or harsh brushing also takes a toll on your gums- which become more sensitive with age.

Be Mindful of Medications

Most of us won’t be able to avoid taking some kind of medications as we age. It’s important to understand the side effects of those drugs on your oral health so you can put safeguards in place to protect your teeth. One of the most common side effects with medication is dry mouth. While you may not think that affects your teeth, the lack of saliva in your mouth can actually increase tooth decay. Be sure you’re drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated.

How Oral Health Can Affect Our Bodies

Bacteria’s and other infections that live inside of our mouths don’t only affect that area. In fact many of those issues spill over into other parts of our body and can take a toll on our overall health. Did you know that gum disease and bacteria that enters our bloodstream through our gums is a leading cause of heart disease? Plaque build-up can even cause heart attacks and stroke.

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen the dentist and would like to start taking better care of your teeth, contact Fried Dentistry. Our friendly, professional service helps prevent, diagnose, and treat a variety of dental conditions including root canals, impacted wisdom teeth, cavities, and other common tooth decay problems. Contact us today!

Gum Disease Is Common in Seniors

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a common problem that affects millions of adults all over the United States. Many seniors have gum disease and do not know, or they believe it is just a normal part of aging, which is not true. Untreated gum disease can have far-reaching effects on seniors’ health.

Why Are Seniors at Risk for Gum Disease?

Gum disease can affect people of any age. Seniors who have receding gums and plaque buildup are more likely to suffer from gum disease as well. Smoking, dry mouth, and some medications make seniors more likely to develop gum disease.

What Are Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Seniors may experience bleeding when they brush or floss, which is not normal. The gums may also be red, tender, or swollen or pulling away from the teeth. Seniors may have sores in the mouth, pus between the teeth and gums, loose teeth, changes in the way the teeth fit together, changes in the way partial dentures fit, or persistent bad breath.

Gum disease develops gradually, and it may be a long time before there are noticeable symptoms. It can start out as red, swollen gums and lead to pockets around the teeth. Eventually teeth can fall out if gum disease is left untreated.

Many seniors are not aware that they have gum disease until a dentist spots the symptoms. This is why it is so important for seniors to visit a dentist on a regular basis. A dentist can remove plaque under the gums to slow or prevent the progression of gum disease.

What Other Health Problems Have Been Linked to Gum Disease?

Gum disease can affect seniors in many ways. It has been linked to other medical conditions, such as coronary heart disease and stroke. Gum disease can make it harder for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar, and it can lead to complications in individuals with osteoporosis or respiratory conditions.

How Seniors Can Prevent and Treat Gum Disease

You should brush twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day to keep your teeth and gums healthy and reduce your risk of developing gum disease. You should also visit your dentist for regular exams and cleanings.

If you suspect that you may have gum disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. The dentist will examine your gums and teeth and may recommend a procedure called scaling and root planing to remove plaque from the pockets around the teeth and smooth the surfaces of the roots. If your gum disease is more advanced, you may need a surgical procedure. If you are due for a dental visit, schedule an appointment at Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut today.

What to Do If You Have Bad Breath That Won’t Go Away

Bad breath, or halitosis, can be unpleasant and embarrassing. It can have many causes, including eating certain foods, poor oral hygiene, dental appliances, and medical conditions. In many cases, doing a better job of brushing and flossing can help, but sometimes you need to take extra steps to deal with the problem.

Possible Causes of Bad Breath

Bad breath is often caused by eating certain foods with strong odors, such as onions and garlic. Food begins to be broken down in the mouth. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can mask the odor temporarily, but the food will need to pass through the body before the smell will go away completely.

Poor oral hygiene can also contribute to halitosis. Not brushing and flossing well can leave food particles in the mouth. Bacteria can grow on the teeth, gums, and tongue and cause bad breath. Using an antibacterial mouth rinse can help.

Dental appliances can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Not thoroughly cleaning dental appliances can lead to bad breath. Dentures need to be cleaned daily to remove food particles and bacteria. Mouth guards should be cleaned after each use.

Smoking and chewing tobacco can cause bad breath. They can cause other oral health problems, including stained teeth and irritated gums.

If you have tried brushing, flossing, and using an antibacterial mouthwash but you still have bad breath, you could have a more serious dental condition. Gum disease is a frequent cause of persistent bad breath. When plaque builds up on teeth, it can irritate the gums and cause bad breath. Cavities can also contribute to bad breath and need to be treated promptly.

Some medical conditions can cause bad breath. These include bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infections, post-nasal drip, acid reflux, diabetes, and liver and kidney problems. You might also have a medical condition that is causing dry mouth and leading to bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by a problem with the salivary glands, or it could be a side effect of a medication you take to treat another condition.

How to Treat Bad Breath

If you have bad breath, work on improving your oral hygiene. You should brush for two minutes twice a day and floss once a day. If you use an oral appliance, clean it thoroughly every day.

You should also see your dentist for an exam and cleaning. He or she will be able to see if you have any signs of gum disease or tooth decay and recommend the appropriate treatment. If your bad breath is not caused by a dental problem, your dentist may refer you to a doctor to look for a medical cause. If you are concerned about bad breath or due for an exam and cleaning, schedule an appointment at Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut today.