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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Taking care of teeth is important at any age

Sep 12, 2016 12:07PM ● By Guest

Years ago, it was assumed that as we age we would lose our natural teeth. But that’s not the case for today’s older adults who are keeping their natural teeth longer than ever before. A healthy mouth and teeth help you look good, eat delicious and nutritious foods, and speak clearly and confidently. Being mouth healthy is essential for good quality of life.

Your mouth is the gateway to your body

Maintaining good oral health habits now is especially important because unhealthy bacteria in the mouth can not only harm your teeth and gums, but may be associated with serious medical conditions. Research has shown that infections in the mouth may be associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia and other health problems that are common in older adults. It really only takes a few simple steps, brushing and flossing daily, visiting your dentist regularly and eating nutritious foods to keep a healthy mouth.

Facts about seniors and oral health

As people age, there are subtle changes in the mouth that occur. Some of the changes include:

Dry mouth due to some medications can cause difficulty chewing, speaking and swallowing. It also leads to cavities and can cause burning mouth syndrome and other soft tissue problems.

Increased risk of gum disease.

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the supporting structures of the teeth. Often it leads to tooth loss if left untreated.

Risk of oral cancer. Cancers of the oral cavity are among the most debilitating and disfiguring, as surgery and treatment of oral cancer often affect appearance, speech, ability to eat and quality of life.

Problems with cavities or decay due to inadequate brushing and flossing. Decay untreated by a dentist usually gets worse, resulting in pain and the potential loss of teeth.

Marillac Clinic provides a full scope of dental care for all ages. Preventive care, fillings, crowns, bridges and dentures are provided at low-cost, based on the individual’s income. Learn more about Marillac’s special program for seniors by calling 298-6320.