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Aging and Oral Health

As you age the need for dental care increases, and this is particularly true if you have other existing health issues.

Not taking adequate care of your oral health can impact not just your teeth, but also your overall well-being. For example, pain caused by dental disease or ill fitting dentures can lead to difficulty with eating, which may result in poor nutrition. Additionally, poor oral health can compromise other health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

A number of conditions can become more prevalent as you age. A dry mouth due to lack of saliva can result from physical changes in the body as you age and as a side effect of a number of medications. It can lead to an increase in risk of developing oral disease and may cause dentures to rub or become loose. It can also make speaking and eating difficult. If you are affected by dry mouth, talk to your GP about reviewing your medications and if suitable alternatives are not available then try to drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Tooth wear and gum disease tend to increase as you age. After many years of chewing and grinding it isn't surprising that teeth begin to show signs of wear and tear. Left untreated worn teeth can lead to infection and in some cases may require extraction of the infected teeth.

Aging, along with smoking and unmanaged diabetes, is a major cause of gum disease. Gums can become inflamed due to the build up of plague which may lead to bone loss around the tooth which can cause loose or painful teeth and eventually tooth loss. To maintain health gums it's important to maintain a twice-daily brushing habit and to floss each day. Make sure you have regular check-ups with your dentist who may suggest a remineralising product to protect your teeth and prevent decay.

Unfortunately, along with getting older often comes a loss of manual dexterity which can make tasks such as brushing your teeth more difficult.

Conditions such as arthritis in the hands, wrists or shoulder can make brushing and flossing difficult or painful.

To help reduce the impact of these conditions on your oral health you may want to consider adding an over-grip to your manual toothbrush or changing to an electric toothbrush. Using a floss handle will also eliminate the need to hold floss around your fingers and will help you get to some of the harder to reach parts of your mouth.

If you have any concerns regarding the impact of aging on your oral health then please don't hesitate to give us a call on 3236 2984 or send us an email at

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