Many people experience more and more dental problems as they age. Aging, medication, and age-related illnesses all contribute to increasing dental problems. Below are some of the measures you can take to minimize dental problems as you age.
Look Out For Warning Signs
Watch out for signs and symptoms of emerging dental problems. The signs can help you seek intervention before the emerging problems worsen. Some of the signs include teeth discoloration, dry mouth, and a diminishing sense of taste, among others. Consult your dentist when you notice such signs; don't assume that they are normal. Maybe you have a health or an oral condition that is triggering the problems and the dentist can help with the diagnosis.
Maintain Dental Appliances
Many people require dental appliances as they age. For example, those who have experienced dental problems over the years may arrive in their old age with a missing tooth or two. A missing tooth may call for dental appliances such as dental bridges and crowns. Other problems that might require dental appliances include misaligned or cracked teeth.
As previously mentioned, some ailments emerge and worsen with age. Many people find themselves taking a multitude of drugs as they age. These drugs help, but they also have side effects such as dry mouth and thrush. Both of these increase the risk of oral infections. For example, a dry mouth allows bacteria to stay longer in the mouth since there is no saliva to wash off the bacteria. Tell your dentist about all the medications you are taking so the dentist can help you counteract their side effects.
Get Innovative with Brushing and Flossing
Flossing and brushing might get difficult with age as limb dexterity changes. For example, you may find it difficult to hold your toothbrush and brush the teeth at the back of the teeth as you used to do. You can try different tips and tricks for brushing to help you keep your teeth clean. For example, you can buy an electric toothbrush, get an attachment for your toothbrush, buy an ergonomic toothbrush, or even ask for assistance from a loved one.
Hydrate Your Mouth
Lastly, it's also a good idea to keep the mouth hydrated at all times. This is because some of the diseases and medications that strike in old age tend to leave the mouth dry, as mentioned above. Since a dry mouth tends to experience many complications, you should keep your mouth hydrated by taking regular sips of water, chewing sugarless gum, or using substitute saliva products.
To learn more about dental care, contact a local dentist.