The eyes are the window to the soul, according to an old proverb. That may be the case, but the most recent dental study demonstrates that the mouth can also provide insight into one’s general health.
As you become older, maintaining your health requires monitoring not only your dietary intake and physical capabilities, but also your teeth and gums. The practice of proper dental hygiene will become more crucial to older people as time goes on because they are living longer and preserving their teeth for longer periods of time.
Even while maintaining good oral health in later life is achievable, there are some obstacles that are more frequently encountered by older adults, such as dry mouth, tooth wear and tear from years of chewing, root decay, and gum disease. As you get older, it’s crucial to make an effort to maintain good dental health because it can have an impact on your overall health and happiness as well as your appearance and self-confidence. A bad mouth can negatively affect other areas of your body and raise your risk of developing health issues like heart attack and stroke.
Many systemic disorders, including diabetes, leukemia, oral cancer, pancreatic cancer, heart disease, and kidney disease, exhibit oral symptoms, such as swollen gums, mouth ulcers, dry mouth, and excessive gum issues. Patients who are older are more susceptible to acquiring heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes, all of which have age-related risks that rise. Dentists are crucial in the diagnosis of these disorders since researchers think that the mouth may exhibit symptoms of these conditions. For instance:
- Gum bleeding and bad breath may be signs of diabetes.
- The early stages of bone loss can be seen on dental x-rays.
- An impending heart attack could be predicted by a sore and aching jaw.
It’s crucial to take good care of your teeth, especially as you become older and your immune system deteriorates. Here are some particular suggestions on how to keep your tongue in good shape as you approach retirement.
- Take in a lot of water. Try your best to avoid soda when selecting a beverage. Opt for water instead, and a lot of it, to give your mouth the greatest opportunity. Water consumption has several positive health effects. Water is a natural dry mouth preventative, helping to rinse away and dilute acids in your mouth. Whereas sodas include a lot of sugar. Too many sugary drinks raise oral acidity, erode tooth enamel, cause cavities, and eventually result in tooth loss.
- Continue to clean and floss your teeth. Regular tooth brushing is crucial at every stage of life. Brushing aids in removing the microscopic layer of germs that forms on your teeth every day and causes tooth decay. At least twice daily, you should wash your teeth for two to three minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Even better if you can brush right after each meal! Take into account that your teeth and gums have experienced considerable typical wear and tear and require a milder approach. You may use :
- An electronic toothbrush – it includes a built-in timer to make sure you brush for the recommended length of time and will clean all those hard-to-reach areas better. Additionally, an electric toothbrush is more comfortable to grip, which is especially advantageous if you have joint or arthritis pain. Use a soft bristle brush only.
- Floss each day or every after eating – flossing between your teeth, you may maintain your gums healthy and stop plaque from accumulating between your teeth. To clean the areas between teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, make sure to floss at least once every day, ideally right before bed. Use a hand-held flosser. By using this you can be sure you’ll be able floss gently without harming your gums.
- Use mouthwash with caution. You should be cautious about using too much mouthwash because older people frequently develop dry mouth difficulties. It is sufficient to rinse once before sleeping. The use of an alcohol-free choice can also be advantageous to you.
- Eat healthy food. Your diet can contribute to the strength and health of your teeth. The antioxidants and other nutrients in fruits and vegetables help your body’s defenses against inflammation and bacteria.
- Be aware of drug side effects that may affect your teeth. Medication side effects, especially dry mouth, can affect your dental health. Dry mouth is more than just a nuisance; it’s also harmful to your overall oral health since it makes it easier for plaque to adhere, which quickens gum disease and tooth damage.
- Quit Smoking. While you may be aware of the impacts that tobacco use has on your lungs, you may not have thought about how it may affect your oral health. The risks of gum recession, tooth loss, dental decay, and gum disease are all increased by smoking. Smokers have a nearly two-fold increased risk of tooth loss and an increased requirement for root canal therapy compared to non-smokers.
You can always take charge of your dental health. It’s crucial to schedule frequent dental appointments in addition to taking good care of your teeth at home. Your dentist can see early indicators and assist you in avoiding common tooth problems that many elderly people have.