June 2, 2018
Your dentist does everything he can to protect patients of all ages. Of course, with age comes new vulnerabilities not just to your oral health, but your overall health as well. That means you’ll need to take more consideration into your at-home care and habits in between dental visits.
To make this process easier, your dentist offers three tips to keep your mouth healthy and prevent permanent damage.
Tip #1: Take Note of Your Medications
All drugs have some side effects on the body, some of which can interfere with your oral health. For this reason, it’s very important that you tell your dentist about any new medications you’re taking during your dental visits. Anti-anxiety and anti-allergy medications cause chronic dry mouth, increasing your chances of tooth decay. Osteoporosis medication can cause jaw bone problems or affect healing after surgical treatments.
One of the most common issues patients deal with is an increased occurrence of gingival bleeding caused by certain medications. These drugs are designed to prevent blood from coagulating as quickly. By treating patients with platelet aggregation, their medication unintentionally allows chronic infections caused by periodontal disease to spread bacteria more easily. Therefore, patients with a history of heart attack or stroke are more vulnerable to bacteria in this way. Luckily, these risks can be mitigated by always informing your dentist of new medications you’re taking.
Tip #2: Upgrade Your Oral Care Supplies
Patients with dental restorations, including fixed bridges or partial dentures, may find flossing more difficult. That’s why your dentist recommends you include other devices in your routine to make cleaning the deep pockets of the mouth easier. Tools like electric toothbrushes, hydro-flossers, or proxy brushes can make a big difference. Adding an anti-periodontal disease mouth rinse can reduce symptoms of gum disease. Products containing calcium and phosphate work to replenish minerals in teeth, strengthening them.
Tip #3: Address Problems When They Arise
Did you know that one in five Americans over the age of 65 are experiencing untreated tooth decay? Many factors influence this increased rate of decay, including:
- Poor diet or malnutrition caused by tooth loss
- Drinking alcohol in excess or using tobacco products
- Chronic teeth clenching or grinding developing later in life
While at-home care is important, it’s also key to keep a balanced diet and visit your dentist regularly, sometimes more often than every six months as generally recommended. Obviously, this depends on what your dentist tells you, but patients more susceptible to dental disease need to pay closer attention to their diet, at-home care, and dental visits if they want to protect their oral health. For example, eating foods rich in vitamin C and vitamin E can help the body fight periodontal disease more effectively.
Taking care of your oral health is essential, especially once you reach a certain age. Schedule an appointment with your dentist today to confirm you’re oral health status!
About the Author
Dr. Alex Martin and his team are prepared to give you the treatment, advice, and gentle care you need to keep your mouth healthy for years to come. He’s always continuing his education in order to bring the most up-to-date care possible. To learn more about his practice, contact him through his website.
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