There are many health concerns that we face as we get older. Many of them are an inevitable part of the aging process. Others, often perceived as unavoidable, can be mitigated or completely avoided. One example is dental health issues. There is a common misconception that dental concerns are an inevitable part of the aging process. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case. Receiving consistent dental care and ensuring we maintain a good oral hygiene routine can go a long way to preventing the onset of age-related dental issues.
How You Can Limit Risks of Age-Related Dental Health
There is, at present, no cure-all for the factors involved in aging. However, there are many steps we can take to ensure that our oral health remains in a good state as we age. Accomplishing this requires understanding how other age-related concerns impact our oral health. This will allow us to adjust our hygiene habits to account for these changes. Some related changes include:
- Cellular Oxidative Stress
- Declining Immune System
- Changing Hormonal Levels
- Shrinking of gingival veins
Our bodies find it increasingly difficult to ensure that the teeth get sufficient nutrients to maintain the enamel as we age. This is due to the constricting of the veins in the gingival or gum tissue, weakening the enamel. Further, reducing our immune systems’ ability to fight off bacteria leads to gum disease, more of a pronounced concern. However, your dentist can take steps to counteract both of these issues.
The highest reported cause of ailing oral health in the elderly isn’t medical in nature, however. It’s a limitation in their ability to seek the necessary care to account for these changes. This is often due to their limited medical insurance in their golden years. Whether due to relying on public assistance or vastly reduced coverage from their insurance providers, it’s a serious concern. With the necessary care, many of these individuals would not otherwise suffer from failing oral health. Below is a list of reasons that oral health concerns tend to increase in aging patients:
- Softening enamel from lack of nutrients
- The presence of other health concerns
- Limited economic access
- Reduced ability to perform normal dental hygiene routines
- Reduced access to dental insurance
- Constricted blood flow caused by gingival vein dilation
- Genetic factors
- Interactions with medication for other health concerns
When access to care is available, your dentist has many options to address concerns like these in all patients.
Effective Cosmetic Dental Care For Seniors
Cosmetic bonding, porcelain veneers, dental implants, sealants, dental whitening, and bridges can all provide benefits to senior patients. These treatments can improve appearance, restore function, and boost self-esteem. Patients who are able to receive this care will be able to maintain their beautiful smiles for a lifetime. Some dental providers provide financial assistance or reduced rates for those living on a fixed income. Contact your dental clinic to see what options they have available for you.