As a child, you may have feared losing your teeth when you aged, and having to wear dentures like your grandparents. That’s because people believed that tooth loss was part of aging. This is a common misconception. Tooth loss is actually the result of periodontal disease. Our teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and with proper care they can. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC), 52 percent of adults over the age of 65 still had most of their natural teeth in 2003, as opposed to the 1950’s when over 50 percent of adults over age 65 had lost all their teeth. Seniors still need to take special care of their teeth. If you are aging gracefully, make sure your teeth age gracefully too. Schedule an appointment with your Ankeny, IA, family dentist, Dr. Ericka Peddicord to discuss how to care for aging teeth.
Seniors And Aging Teeth
As with your bones, brains, and the rest of your body, teeth and gums age. Aging gums and teeth can present seniors with a unique set of oral health problems. Health issues that develop with age, such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease, can affect the health of your teeth. Diabetics are at higher risk for gum disease due to the high sugar levels in their saliva. Harmful bacteria digest the sugars and in the process produce plaque which is a precursor to periodontal disease. People fighting cancer can have dental issues as well, due to chemotherapy medications. Other medicines such as cholesterol medications, antacids, and aspirin, can promote tooth decay. Research has discovered that 70 percent of Americans take prescription drugs, with 9 out of 10 adults over 60 taking at least one. Therefore, people in this age category should be aware of the oral health risks, including:
- Dry mouth
- Decrease in taste
- Darkening or staining of the teeth
- Root decay
- Gum disease
- Bone deterioration
- Tooth loss
- Oral cancer
People of all ages, but especially those 60 and above, should brush twice a day, floss, use an anti-bacterial mouth rinse, and visit their dentists regularly.
About Your Ankeny Dentist
Dr. Peddicord offers a complete range of preventative, cosmetic, and restorative dental procedures as well as high quality dental prosthetics. Dr. Peddicord can answer your inquiries, and provide the services you need to maintain the health, beauty, and function of your teeth. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Erika Peddicord, please contact us at 515-963-3339. Our Ankeny, IA, office proudly provides general and cosmetic dentistry services to patients from Bondurant, Polk City, Elkhart, Alleman, and Cambridge.