As we blow out more candles on each birthday cake, things change. So much so, in fact, that from year-to-year it can be difficult to keep track. When did that ache come on? Where did that wrinkle come from? One of the aspects of aging it doesn’t get much attention is oral health. In our practice, we prioritize getting to know our patients. This means that we put effort into forecasting, not just treating a condition that has already begun. To forecast means to look to the future of oral health and consider what may in the works beneath the surface.
Some of the age-related dental concerns we may forecast include:
We all may experience a little dip in saliva flow from time to time. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a chronic condition that occurs when there is too little saliva all the time. Dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but it can lead to other unpleasant conditions including bad breath. People whose mouths are chronically dry also have a far greater risk for cavities and gum disease. In our patients who are aging, dry mouth as a condition for which we keep a close watch. To mitigate the symptoms of dry mouth, patients are encouraged to sip water frequently; several times an hour. Smoking and alcohol consumption should also be avoided.
It used to be commonly known that our teeth would turn dull, then yellow, as we aged. Teeth become discolored for several reasons. First and foremost, discoloration indicates that light is being blocked from reflecting off the enamel. This is the standard staining that occurs due to dietary habits and lifestyle habits like smoking. Discoloration may also indicate the wearing down of enamel. Aging does not have to mean the end of a brilliant smile. We can help our patients look and feel their best with cosmetic treatments such as professional teeth whitening and porcelain veneers.
Dentistry becomes more valuable with special attention placed on understanding the various risks that may arise at different ages and stages of life. For care that focuses on your current and future needs, call our Shakopee office at (952)-445-6657.