Is It Time to Update Your Routine?

As one ages, it can become harder to maintain proper dental health.  Teeth wear down and gums can recede.  As you get older, it becomes more important to avoid tobacco and carefully brush your teeth and floss twice daily to reduce tooth plaque, the likelihood of cavities and gum disease.

As we get older, we take more prescription and over-the-counter drugs.  More than 400 common medications can cause a dry mouth.  Less saliva increases the risk for oral disease, since saliva contains antimicrobial components and minerals that help rebuild tooth enamel attacked by decay-causing bacteria.

If your medications produce a dry mouth, ask your doctor if there are other drugs that can be substituted.  If dry mouth cannot be avoided, drink plenty of water, chew sugarless gum and avoid alcohol.

See your dentist regularly, even if you have no natural teeth and have dentures.  Professional care will help maintain overall oral health and provides for early cancer detection.

Sources:  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; American Dental Association