Aging and Oral Health

When we get older, there is a nightmare that we tend to face, and something that can, unfortunately, be on the horizon, and that is losing teeth. This isn’t just a dream, but it can be a reality. This has decreased since about 50 years ago, but still nearly 30% of all seniors over the age of 65 don’t have teeth left, according to studies. The frequency of tooth loss is higher among minorities, women, and those with low incomes that smoke. On average, most adults have 18.9 remaining teeth, but that is in comparison to 32 teeth when you have a normal adult mouth.

Now, losing teeth is due to wear and tear. Chewing and biting tends to weaken the enamel, and this is when bacteria and plaque start to come in. This then leads to sore and swollen gums, which causes gum infection and periodontitis, and when it’s left untreated, this then goes down to damage the underlying bone and the tissue that supports the teeth. This will loosen the teeth, cause them to fall out, or require the dental professional to remove them in a premature manner. Cavities, dehydration in an ongoing manner, substance and tobacco use, bad nutrition, and physical trauma can also cause this to be a huge problem.

Now, does losing teeth suggest bad health. Well, in a study, those that were over the age of 60 with teeth tried to do walking and memory tests, and it was seen that they performed about 10 percent better than those without teeth. The research then concluded that the subjects that don’t have teeth were likely into other negative behaviors that have impacted this, such as drinking and smoking, along with tooth loss that’s aggravated. Those with teeth were healthier in general, so it can be seen that tooth loss is an indication of physical and mental decline in seniors. It was also seen that those with tooth loss had a higher risk of stroke, and it supports the previous research that heart disease and diabetes has a correlation to the mouth.

So what is the impact of it? well, most of the time seniors get dentures in order to have a healthy lifestyle, and while dentures are good, they aren’t flawless. Typically, conversing is harder with false teeth, along with eating and such since they tend to move. It can be a bit embarrassing and conflicting, since often the seniors will need to eat soft foods that won’t cause the teeth to dislodge. Overall, dentures provide about 20% less chewing when compared to natural teeth.

So what can you do about it? well, you can prevent it now before it gets any worse. Typically, with dentistry, you can go in and you’ll learn from your dentist themselves that the overall health of the teeth will keep everything around for the long term. Because there are some risk factors that can be there that should be considered, you should also take the time to work on eliminating the bad habits in order to make teeth seem as natural as they can. Smoking and drinking are not that good for you, since they can cause lung cancer, liver disease, and other such issues. It’s not just your oral health that is being affected, it’s your bodily health too, and that’s something that definitely can negatively affect you.

So what is the best thing to do? Well, the best thing for you to do is to go in to the dentist, get the care that you feel like you need, and if you need treatments, get them now before it gets any worse. For many people, going to the dentist isn’t fun. It’s a bit of a chore, but you know what’s worse? Having all of your teeth gone because you didn’t take care of it. you need to take the time to ensure that you have the best health that you can have, that you take care of this whole thing now before it gets any worse. You definitely will want to prevent this from worsening, and you should make sure that if you need treatment now, get it done immediately for your own health.