Dental Problems

How Getting Older Changes Your Dental Health Approach

Dental Problems

For a while, people may have felt that getting older was naturally correlated with losing their teeth, but as the aging population grows, we are realizing that this is no longer the case. In fact, there’s a greater likelihood than ever for people to keep their natural teeth for the rest of their lives. However, what this doesn’t mean is that this happens automatically. Not only do people want to keep up good oral habits for their lives, but they may also need to adjust them as they age.

Why is this the case? There are several different reasons, but here’s a brief list of some of the biggest issues seniors deal with that may impact their oral health:

  • Certain prescription medications or over the counter medications. In some cases, these medications may have side effects or interactions that can impact your teeth and oral health. Make sure that you speak to your doctor about this.
  • Comorbid conditions. These include diabetes, hypertension, and other diseases that may impact older people. In fact, oral health changes may be a precursor of these conditions.
  • Physical impairments. This may sound odd at first, but in some cases, seniors may have limitations to their range of motion that make brushing difficult, or have trouble shopping themselves for tooth-friendly foods.
  • Grinding or clenching. Habits like these can lead to tooth structure being worn away over time. It may be a good idea to use some sort of night guard.

In addition, there are specific conditions like dry mouth, but gum disease is probably the biggest source of tooth loss in older adults. This is because not only are older adults likely to have receding gums, which open up a new surface for decay, but things like old fillings that need to be replaced or dentures that don’t fit will actually aggravate these conditions. Any sort of dental restoration like a filling or crown should be looked at least every eight years to check for a replacement. The longer you wait, the bigger the risk of decay spreading.

Understand that it’s important to keep your oral health in proper order, but your needs may evolve as you get older. The good news is your best tactic to keep healthy doesn’t really change—getting regular dental checkups. Make sure that you reach out to the dentists at Acadia Dental to get the care you need.

Do You Have Bleeding Gums?

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Problems | Oral Health

We understand how alarming it must be to see blood in your sink after brushing your teeth, but there is no need to panic!

 

Gums might be just a tiny part of our body, but they actually have a big job. For starters, they protect the roots and neck of our teeth from bacteria. Without healthy gums to guard our teeth, bacteria can easily sneak beneath your teeth, causing damage to tissues over time. The tissues will then become too damaged to hold your teeth, leading to loose teeth that may eventually fall out.

 

THE CAUSES OF BLEEDING GUMS

GINGIVITIS (Gum Disease)

If you do not brush or floss regularly, bacteria build up in the groove surrounding your teeth. As bacteria move and grow, they irritate the gums, causing gingivitis. This is the early stage of gum disease and its most common symptom: bleeding gums.

 

Fortunately, this stage of gum is reversible. One of our dentists or dental hygienists can help scrape away bacteria and plaque. Flossing and brushing regularly keeps the bacteria at bay so you can enjoy healthy gums again.

 

If gingivitis gets worse, your gums will start pulling away from your teeth, leaving space for bacteria to go into the tissues below your teeth. Keep in mind that the longer bacteria live in your tissues, the worse your dental health also gets.

 

PREGNANCY

When a woman is pregnant, there are hormonal changes that affect her entire body, including the gums, leading to a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. To avoid any oral issues while you are pregnant, it is best to have one of our dentists take care of your dental health with you.

 

MEDICATIONS

The medications that you take can also cause your gums to bleed – even if you have healthy brushing and flossing habits. Aspirin and blood thinners keep the blood from clotting. These medications increase the risk of bleeding gums and might cause the gums to bleed for a long time after brushing.

 

Make sure to tell your dentist if you are taking any of those medications.

 

NEW ORAL HEALTH ROUTINE

If you have just started to have an oral health routine, then your gums might bleed until your mouth gets used eventually to those new habits. Flossing and brushing regularly clear away plaque and bacteria from your gums. Gradually your gums should bleed less until it stops altogether eventually.

 

WHEN TO SEE A DENTIST

If your gums bleed regularly, even if you practice good habits, then it is a must to make an appointment with one of our dentists soon. The sooner you see your dentist about signs of gum disease, then the condition will also more likely be reversed.

Debunking Myths About Cavities

Dental Advice | Dental Care | Dental Problems

Cavities are undesirable, and they should be prevented whenever possible. Most parents teach their kids about the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth regularly. Many people are diligent when it comes to visiting their dentists twice a year for preventive checkups and cleanings.

 

However, there are still some myths related to cavities – both among children and adults. Let us debunk some of these myths today so that we all have a solid understanding of preventative measures, risk factors, and treatment options.

 

Here are some of the most common misconceptions about cavities:

 

#01. Cavities are a childhood problem.

This is one of the most popular cavity myths all around the world. Many adults believe that cavities occur during childhood and that it something that they can leave behind when they get older. However, that is not the case. In reality, more adults tend to have more cavities than children.

 

#02. Once you get a tooth filling, it will not be affected by cavities anymore.

Again, this is FALSE. The filling process involves the decay being removed by the dentist, then filling in the cavity. When the decay has been removed and replaced, most people think that they do not have to worry about that tooth anymore. While decay at that particular spot is stopped after the treatment, it is still a must to maintain good oral hygiene. The rest of your teeth can still develop cavities, and it can also develop decay around or next to the filling. Remember, fillings do not give us a free pass to neglect our oral health.

 

#03. If your teeth are sensitive, you have a cavity.

Tooth sensitivity can be caused be several culprits – not just decay. For instance, gum recession is a condition that results in exposed roots of the teeth, and it is a major cause of sensitivity. Worn enamel can also lead to teeth sensitivity, and this is often caused by aggressive brushing or bruxism (grinding of the teeth).

 

#04. Gaps in teeth are a risk factor for tooth decay.

This myth most likely originated from the concept that flossing is important because it is able to get to the hard-to-reach areas between our teeth. As true as that may be, gaps in the teeth are not a risk factor for decay. Large gaps, in fact, make flossing and brushing between those teeth easier!

 

#05. Sugar is the only cause of tooth decay.

Many people also believe that if they avoid drinking soda or eating sugar candy, they will not develop cavities. While sugar is a major culprit behind tooth decay, it is NOT the only one. Plaque, a sticky film, is always forming on the teeth. When you eat sugar or carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, fruits, bread), the plaque feeds on it. It then produces acid, which eats away at the teeth, leading to decay.

 

Learn more about cavity prevention and tooth decay; contact us today and set up an appointment with one of our trusted dental professionals.

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