Older people don’t bounce back the way younger people do. If they break a bone, it will take longer to heal. If they get a cold, it could turn into pneumonia. Ageing involves a lot of preventive care because as people age, prevention really is easier than cure. This is true with the dentist in Richmond, just as with medical care.
Elderly people tend to put less effort into taking care of their teeth. This may be because it becomes harder to hold a toothbrush, get the toothpaste on it or stand at a sink and brush for 2 minutes twice a day. However, oral health is just as important in later life, and this includes a bi-annual check-up with a dentist in Richmond such as Sheen Dental.
Different challenges at different ages
As well as needing to focus on prevention, older people also face different oral health challenges than the young. These include:
- Dry mouth
- Discoloured teeth
- Gum disease.
These can be exacerbated by or contribute to other health challenges such as diabetes and heart disease.
This is when the mouth is not producing enough saliva to keep it moist. It can be brought on by certain medications, and cancer treatments such as radiation to the head. Saliva helps protect against tooth decay and infection. Dry mouth can also lead to other problems. It is important to sip water to keep the mouth moist.
The teeth change colour as people age and the enamel thins. It becomes easier to see the dentin beneath, which is much more yellow. Also, years of staining from smoking, tannin and other pigments in food and drinks can really start to show. The dentist in Richmond can help with teeth whitening to remove stains or other cosmetic treatments to cover over discolouration.
Gum disease is slow and sneaky, and by the time people are old, it can be doing some real damage, with loose teeth starting to fall out. It is also linked to diabetes and heart disease.
Brushing and flossing
These remain as important as ever, as do the bi-annual check-ups and scale and polish sessions.