As we all age it becomes increasingly important that we maintain our oralhealth. The past issues of our newsletter we have written about the oral systemic disease interface i.e.: the relationship between oral health and long term systemic health. The common factor is the importance of inflammation and its relationship to all diseases. If you have periodontal disease you may have a higher risk of other diseases i.e.; cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc. During your regular visits in our office let us know of any recent changes in your health likewise when you visit your physician share your periodontal history and treatment with that office.
People are now living longer healthier lives and older adults are more likely to keep their teeth for a lifetime. Research has shown that older people also have the highest rate of periodontal disease. Over 50% of the people over the age of 55 have some degree of periodontal disease and 25% of the adults over 65 have lost all of their teeth as a result of periodontal disease. If you have succeeded in maintaining your teeth as you age, it is especially important that you continue your oral health routines. You should receive a comprehensive periodontal examination each year.
You should brush and floss daily. If you have a physical disability and find it difficult to maintain your oral hygiene program let us know and we will suggest options to facilitate your oral hygiene program.
Your medications may impact your oral health and affect your proposed dental treatment. Older adults are likely to take medications that can impact oral health and affect dental treatment. Hundreds of common medications - including antihistamines, diuretics, pain killers, high blood pressure medications and antidepressants - can cause side effects such as dry mouth, soft tissue changes, taste changes, and gingival overgrowth.
Dry mouth leaves the mouth without enough saliva and make you more susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Dry mouth can cause a sore throat, problems with speaking, difficulty swallowing and hoarseness. We can recommend various methods to restore your saliva flow and control your dry mouth.