As we age, our bodies undergo a multitude of changes. Some are more noticeable than others; one such change that people can easily overlook is our gum health. Unfortunately, as our gums start to decline, so too does our overall health. Don’t let this happen to you make the necessary changes today to ensure that your gum health remains optimal as you age.
Gum Health and Age
The gums are essential for dental health. They act as a barrier between the teeth and the oral environment, protecting the teeth from bacteria and other debris. The gums also help to anchor the teeth in the jawbone and provide a surface on which plaque can form.
Gums deteriorate as people grow older for several reasons. One of the most common is that their body’s saliva production decreases as they age. Saliva is integral to keeping our gums healthy, as it helps wash away food and bacteria. However, plaque can build up on people’s teeth and gums without enough saliva, leading to gum disease.
Another reason gum health declines with age is that the tissues supporting our teeth become less elastic. It leaves them more susceptible to damage and recession. In addition, as people’s gums recede, they can expose the roots of their teeth, which are much more sensitive than the rest. It can lead to pain and sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold items.
Finally, as people age, their bones may start to shrink, which can cause our teeth to loosen in their sockets. This can also lead to gum recession and tooth loss.
Fortunately, there are several things we can do to keep our gums healthy as we age. Here are some ways you can keep your gums healthy as you age.
It’s estimated that Americans aged50-60 have lost most of their teeth. The main problem with teeth loss is that when you lose your teeth, you leave your gums exposed to bacteria. It can then lead to gum disease and other oral health problems.
One way to protect your gums is by using dentures. Dentures can help keep your teeth in place and prevent them from moving around in your mouth. They also provide a barrier between your teeth and gums, which can help to reduce the risk of gum disease.
If dentures are too uncomfortable for you, you have alternatives. The first and most effective alternative isdenture implants. These implants are placed into your jawbone and act as a support for your dentures. They’re better than dentures because they’re much more comfortable and secure.
Another alternative to dentures is dental bridges. These are false teeth that are attached to your existing teeth. Unlike dentures, which can be removed, dental bridges are permanent. However, they are more expensive than dentures.
Change Your Toothbrush
You should change your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles start to fray. As we age, our toothbrushes wear down and become less effective at cleaning our teeth. It can lead to a build-up of plaque on our teeth and gums, which can then lead to gum disease.
It’s also essential to choose the right toothbrush for your needs. For example, look for a toothbrush with soft bristles if you have sensitive gums. If you have braces or other dental appliances, look for a toothbrush designed for those purposes. And if you have trouble reaching all of your teeth, consider using an electric toothbrush.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is important for overall health, but it’s crucial for oral health. Eating a diet high in sugar can cause tooth decay while eating a diet high in acid can lead to gum disease. To keep your gums healthy, eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid sugary meals, and limit your intake of acidic foods and beverages.
Smoking is terrible for your overall health but especially bad for your oral health. Smoking is one of the main reasons of gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your oral health.
See Your Dentist Regularly
You should see your dentist for a cleaning and exam at least twice a year. As we age, our risk of developing gum disease and other oral health problems increases. By seeing your dentist regularly, you can catch these problems early and get treatment before they become more serious.
These are just a few ways to keep your gums healthy as you age. Remember that your gums play a vital role in oral health, so take care of them. In addition, you’ll need healthy gums if you want to enjoy your life later.