As you age and get past middle-age, your body begins to change. Some of these changes may be more obvious to you than others. While people may notice the achiness in their joints, they may not notice the changes in your smile. Your smile is the gateway to your overall health, which makes it even more important to keep up with preventative care as we get older. Some of the ways that our mouths can change as we age: enamel erosion, less salival production, and an increased risk for oral cancer.
In addition to the daily wear and tear of eating, you may have encountered breakages, chips, and decay throughout your life. The enamel, the protective outer layer of our teeth, will also begin to erode naturally. If you are aware of the habits that can contribute to the erosion, you can take proactive steps to protect your teeth. Chewing ice, grinding your teeth, and eating acidic foods and beverages can all speed up the erosion of enamel.
Many people start to take more medication as they get older. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications. Besides medication, older adult mouths tend to dry out naturally as they age. Saliva is important to your oral health as it rinses away leftover food particles and harmful bacteria. When the soft tissue in your mouth becomes dry, it can become more vulnerable to infection. Talk to your dentist, if you are combatting chronic dry mouth.
The overall risk of getting any form of cancer increases as we get older. The majority of people diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 55, which makes oral cancer screenings more vital at older ages. Oral cancer can be deadly, but it is treatable when caught early. If you notice any sores, bumps, or lesions in your mouth, be sure to mention it to your dentist.
Oral health is important at any age. To schedule a consultation with Austin Prosthodontics in Austin, TX, call 512-250-9444. We also proudly welcome patients from Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Leander, and all surrounding Texas communities.