How to avoid expensive dental treatments.
World Oral Health Day has just passed again, which means that we thought it would be time to turn the spotlight onto one of our most important physical health indicators: our teeth and gums.
Oral health is increasingly important as we get older, to ensure that you keep your own teeth and gums as healthy as possible, and take good care of any bridges, dentures, etc., to prevent them falling into disrepair.
What should I be doing differently as I get older?
Continue a preventative dentistry regime
The most important thing that you can do to keep your teeth and gums in good shape as you get older is something that you already should have been doing for the rest of your life:
- Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day
- Flossing daily
- Going for regular check ups and cleaning at the dentist, generally around every 3-6 months
You should also take care of what you are eating, with not too many sugars, drink plenty of water, and avoid smoking and tobacco products.
This can help to avoid cavities, enamel wear, and gum disease, the most common oral ailments.
Don’t ignore a dry mouth
A dry mouth isn’t just a part of getting older, it is something where the root cause should be determined and a treatment plan put in place. A dry mouth can be caused by:
- Medicine interactions, such as from antihistamines, medicines for depression and anxiety, and others like obesity and acne
- Diseases, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- Medical treatments, such as chemotherapy
Check with your doctor to determine the underlying cause of your dry mouth, and then treat with mouth lubricants and sprays, or sugarless gum. You may also be encouraged to try other medications if this is an option.
Be wary of oral cancer
As you get older, your chances of cancer increase. While oral cancers are not one of the most common forms of cancer, it is still important to be aware that this is a risk, particularly in those who have smoked.
Any strange changes in your mouth or throat should be monitored, and reported to your doctor if they last for longer than a couple of weeks.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to your oral health is to not ignore any changes in your mouth. This may be from lumps, ongoing abscesses, strange feelings, or pain. With proper maintenance and monitoring, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy, and catch any issues before they take hold.
If it’s been a while between dentist visits, then make sure to book in your next appointment to keep your mouth in tip top shape