Maintaining Healthy Teeth and Gums throughout the Retirement Years
In years past, tooth loss often accompanied aging, often because patients lacked access to routine dental care or because advanced tooth-saving treatments had not yet been developed. As a result, most patients would eventually get dentures when they got older.
Now, dentists and their patients can work together to keep the teeth and gums in optimal shape well into the golden years.
Not only are older adults more likely to keep their natural teeth, they may also turn to cosmetic dentistry to help those teeth look their best.
In fact, cosmetic dentistry interventions like teeth whitening and veneers are increasingly popular among older patients who want to shave years from their smile’s appearance.
Even with all of the advanced treatments available in modern cosmetic dentistry, tooth loss sometimes is unavoidable. When tooth loss does occur, oral surgery can be beneficial to the patient. Specifically, dental implants represent a significant advance in tooth replacement technology.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are made of titanium and fuse with the bone. Because of their design, implants act more like biological teeth than dentures, partials or bridges do. They are more functional and more aesthetically pleasing.
To reduce your chances of tooth loss as you get older, though, keep a consistent oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing. You should also be conscientious about getting to the dentist every six months, or maybe even more frequently.
Some effects of aging have a direct impact on your oral health. For example, older patients are more likely to suffer from dry mouth, especially if they are on certain medications. If there is not enough saliva to clear away oral bacteria, you can be more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
Older patients don’t have to worry that they’re destined to lose their natural teeth, but when that tooth loss does occur, dental implants can offer a structurally complete replacement that feels and functions more like a natural tooth.
Talk to our oral surgeon, Dr. Carlos Ibanez, to learn more about your treatment options.