Aging affects your oral health as well as your body, so watching out for issues that can harm your smile is vital. Today, our Who Does Your Teeth team is happy to talk about three oral health issues to watch out for that can harm your smile as you age. It also helps that October is National Dental Hygiene Month as we continue to raise oral health awareness.
One oral health issue that arises with age is the breaking down of dental fillings. Depending on the materials used to make up your fillings, they can last up to 15 years but can start to break down between eight and ten years. Good oral care can increase their longevity.
As fillings deteriorate, the tooth pulp beneath the filling can harbor stray food particles and oral bacteria which invite tooth decay. Maintain your fillings by brushing and flossing daily, and keep up your six-month dental checkups. These visits also allow your dentist to remove damaging tartar from the teeth, and spot issues with dental fillings early.
Another oral issue that arises with age is gum disease.This is a serious infection that will damage gum tissue irreversibly and destroy jawbone material. Brush and floss daily to keep bacterial plaque which accumulates on tooth and gum surfaces from building up. Unless it is removed daily, plaque hardens into tartar which can damage jawbone and cause tooth loss. Along with daily brushing and flossing, keep all scheduled cleanings and checkups with your dentist.
Another serious oral health issue is cancer of the mouth, tongue, and throat which increases with age. Men over 40 are particularly vulnerable to this disease, and as is anyone who regularly uses tobacco and alcohol. Since dentists look for signs of oral cancer during routine checkups, they are often the ones who detect and diagnose oral cancer.
Our dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Neal, is here to help you conquer oral health issues that may arise. If you would like to schedule your next visit with our caring team in Henrico, Virginia, please call us at 804-447-1435 today.