Importance of Oral Health as You Age

Importance of Oral Health as You Age

Your body undergoes many changes throughout the years. Although some changes are quite noticeable, some are a little more subtle. Your dental health may not be top on your list of concerns when it comes to healthy aging, but it should be. Many people are living longer, more active lives, but the rate of tooth loss and gum disease continues to be quite high. Half of those over the age of 55 have periodontitis, and 25 percent of those over 65 have lost all their teeth. A dental exam, cleaning and X-ray can identify early signs of trouble.

Once a tooth is lost, most commonly due to dental decay or gum disease, your other teeth may begin to shift or tilt. This shifting is gradual, but it increases your risk of gum disease and tooth decay, which puts all your remaining teeth at risk. Furthermore, the loss of a tooth sets up a chain reaction that ultimately leads to bone loss in the jaw.

The deterioration of dental health in older adults can be linked to many factors, including:

• Medications with side effects, such as dry mouth, gum overgrowth and an alteration in taste

• Hormonal changes, particularly those associated with menopause, which can put women at a higher risk of suffering from dental diseases and bone loss

• Health conditions, including diabetes and dementia, which can alter the oral environment or cause difficulty in maintaining good dental hygiene

Your dental health is crucial to your overall health. With strong, healthy gums and teeth, you will have a better chance of enjoying all your favorite foods and loving your naturally beautiful smile throughout your golden years. If you have already lost teeth, Dr. Poneh Ghasri DDS, West Hollywood dentist, can help you explore your options for restoration, which may include dental implants. Call us today to schedule your appointment.