There are several aspects of aging for which humankind has continually sought solutions. Frequently, what we hear about are the cosmetic concerns that occur with age. We are fortunate to have treatments that enable us to look as young as we feel, or at least closer to that. Additional advances in medicine and dentistry have also led to less prevalence for various conditions.
Part of what we do at Peters Dental Associates is help aging patients keep their smile looking fresh and vibrant. Today, there is no reason for the 70-year-old smile to look any different than it did at age 30. This is great, and we love performing treatments like teeth whitening and dental implants to achieve aesthetic goals. But there is more to dentistry than attending to the appearance of the smile. Especially as patients age, it is important to also make sure their teeth continue to function at maximum capacity.
A Healthy Mouth for a Healthy Body
There may be mountains of research data at this point that demonstrate the clear connection between oral health and general wellness. One study discovered that arterial plaque contains the same type of bacteria that is involved in gum disease. Another study found identical bacteria in both the gums and the lungs. Furthermore, research has also suggested that our fight against plaque formation around teeth becomes more challenging after the age of 50.
We may know why it is important to foster good oral health. With age, the question leans more toward how we can do this. With physical and biological changes come challenges. For example, conditions like arthritis can make it difficult to hold a toothbrush between stiff fingers, let alone a tiny string of dental floss. Health conditions like diabetes may inhibit saliva production, causing an increased risk for cavities and gum disease (which can be managed with brushing and flossing). The cycle of challenges can ultimately, and relatively quickly, lead to a marked decline in oral health.
How your Dentist Can Help
In our Houston family dentistry office, our priority is on getting to know each patient on a personal level. Knowing your smile and your unique challenges, we can suggest strategies such as using an electric toothbrush or flossing tool, that will improve the outcome of your daily habits.
Schedule a thorough exam and cleaning at Peters Dental Associates, and see how we can help you care for your aging smile. Call (281) 486-8061.