KEEPING YOUR TEETH HEALTHY – NO MATTER YOUR AGE

elderly-smilingThere exists an old adage – with age comes wisdom. Along with years of wisdom comes a time when extra attention to one’s health becomes essential. Part of overall wellness is maintaining your dental health. Both Dr. Hochberg and Dr. Diora are here to help guide you along the way.

Why is attention to dental health vital to overall wellness as one gets older? The natural process of aging, which impacts your body and causes those new ‘aches and pains’, can also effect the health of your teeth, gums and supporting bone. For some, oral health degeneration results from medications. Many routine prescriptions cause a reduction in the amount of saliva produced – causing dry mouth or xerostomia. A dry mouth is more susceptible to plaque, which over time hardens into calculus, thus creating an environment that is ripe for the development of cavities. For others, a decline in oral health can be linked to dietary changes. Systemic changes that occur with aging cause the blood supply to the tooth’s root, called the pulp, to be reduced, causing the nerve to become smaller. The sensitivity to discomfort decreases to the point where you might not even know a problem exists. Eventually, the tooth’s ability to be restored lessens. Therefore, periodic examinations and x-rays are encouraged in order to ensure the disease process has not subtly infiltrated your teeth.

Another prevalent problem, periodontal disease, is not limited to the mature population. Often it’s a chronic problem, beginning earlier in adulthood. However, periodontal disease may become progressive with age, resulting in recession of the gum, or gingival, tissue. The tooth’s root structure is exposed, providing a place for plaque to accumulate with ease.

The good news is that we are living longer and staying active. To be certain that you are able to speak and chew naturally as you age, it becomes necessary to take advantage of your wisdom. Take preventative measures! Maintain a regular schedule of dental hygiene visits with periodic examinations and x-rays. Work closely with your dental healthcare professionals. Both Drs. Hochberg and Diora, along with your hygienist, will develop a program that targets your specific needs to enhance your ‘stay fit’ lifestyle.

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