How can I preserve my teeth as I age?
Maintaining good oral health is important at any age—especially in one’s later years. Oral function is a part of our daily lives, from chewing to using the entire oral health system to speak properly. When it comes to keeping teeth and gums healthy during our later years, dentists recommend that patients commit to practicing proper oral hygiene and receiving routine cleanings and oral health examinations. Since some medical conditions and common medications can affect oral health—especially the health of the gums—it is important for patients to discuss their overall health with their dentists or oral surgeons.
Why Oral Hygiene is Important
Keeping teeth and gums healthy starts with practicing proper oral hygiene at home. Home-care is an essential part of protecting gums and teeth. Oral hygiene prevents dental caries (tooth decay) and periodontal (gum) disease. By flossing and brushing properly and regularly, you can reduce the amount of plaque buildup that coats teeth and gums. Plaque forms when bacteria colonize. This substance can turn into tartar when exposed to calculus. Both plaque and tartar irritate and inflame the gums, which over time can cause infection. Infected gums (periodontal disease) can progress into an advanced condition that erodes oral tissues including bone mass and can ultimately cause tooth loss. By removing plaque and keeping bacteria at bay, brushing and flossing helps keep tooth enamel healthy and thus can prevent the formation of cavities.
Routine Cleanings and Checkups are a Necessity
Receiving regular oral healthcare is imperative to keeping teeth and gums healthy as patients get older. Professional cleanings provide a deep clean that is simply unattainable with flossing and brushing alone. Receiving regular oral examinations is just as important. Checkups help dental professionals detect potential threats to oral health as soon as possible. When conducting an examination, dentists and oral surgeons will evaluate the health of teeth, gums, and bone along with screening patients for oral cancer.
Our team at Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center is here to help members of our community enjoy vibrant oral health at any age. Call us today to schedule a consultation.