While everyone should floss and brush daily and regularly visit their dentists' offices, many people slack in one area or another when it comes to managing their oral hygiene. If you've been getting by with fewer dental appointments and lackluster care for your oral health at home, you might think that you can expect to keep taking it easy as you get older. However, that's typically not the case. Here's why it's more important than ever to take care of your teeth once you get older.
Tooth Loss Statistics
If you haven't lost a single tooth yet, it might surprise you to discover that as you get older, that may not continue to be true.
The vast majority of people lose many of their teeth by the time they reach late middle age and the elder years. In fact, on average, people over the age of 50 have lost eight of their teeth, not including the removal of wisdom teeth. This is typically due to dental care neglect, as with healthy gums and strong teeth, you're far more unlikely to lose teeth.
Unfortunately, having gaps in your smile is often the least of the worries that someone with poor oral hygiene has to be concerned about.
Poor oral hygiene over the long-term may have a significant impact on your overall body, including your cardiovascular system.
Scientists and doctors now believe that there's a link between gum disease — one of the most common causes of tooth loss — and heart attacks and strokes. The theory is that the bacteria responsible for gum disease can get into your blood by traveling through the tissues of your gums. At this point, they can cause similar inflammation to your arteries and veins as what they do to your gums. If you've ever had gingivitis or periodontitis, you know how badly your gums can feel. Now just imagine that happening on the inside of your body in the sole channel responsible for circulating your blood!
Another concern is that gum disease and poor oral health may be linked to brain health in older age.
Dementia and Alzheimer's are two of the biggest concerns for people as they age, as these debilitating brain diseases have no cure and ultimately kill. While genetic factors play a role, it's possible that the same inflammation from gum disease can affect the brain as well.
In addition, the plaque that develops on the brain when people have Alzheimer's is the same type of plaque that forms on teeth when they're not cleaned well. Like the bacteria, scientists think that this plaque may be making it to the brain by going through the bloodstream.
Improving and then maintaining your oral health is something you should strongly consider doing as you move through your years. Visit a dentist and find out how your oral health is doing and what you can do to keep it healthy as you age.Share
20 February 2019
The average dentist takes many client appointments each day and also deals with emergency situations on a regular basis. Dental emergencies are very common because people are likely to put off having tooth pain fixed until the pain becomes unbearable. Some people have anxiety about dental visits, and others are trying to avoid the expense of dental care. In either case, the end result is often a dental emergency. I have worked as a professional dental hygienist for many years and have seen all types of dental emergencies. I hope that this blog will help people identify potential emergencies before they become too serious and will allow people to know when to get help.