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What Increases the Risk of Tooth Decay in Seniors?

Posted on 1/15/2024 by Andrew Admin
Image of an older woman smiling, on a couch, and not been to the dentist for years. Aging gracefully comes with its fair share of wisdom and experience, but it also brings some unexpected dental challenges, with tooth decay taking center stage. As we navigate the golden years, we must understand the factors that can make our smiles a bit more vulnerable.

The Dry Mouth Dilemma

Many seniors experience dry mouth, a condition where the flow of saliva decreases. Saliva plays a crucial role in neutralizing acids and keeping our mouths clean. With less saliva around, the risk of tooth decay skyrockets. Combat this dry mouth dilemma by staying hydrated and considering saliva-boosting products recommended by our dentist.

Team Sugar and Aging

As we age, our bodies might not process sugar as efficiently, and indulging in sugary snacks can become a double-edged sword. Sugar, when left on our teeth, becomes a feast for cavity-causing bacteria. To outsmart this sugary culprit, consider swapping out candies and sodas for healthier alternatives.

Medication Mayhem

As the years add up, so do the medications for many seniors. While these prescriptions work wonders for overall health, some can play a sneaky role in tooth decay. Certain medications, especially those with sugar content or those that cause dry mouth as a side effect, can contribute to dental woes. Communicating openly with your healthcare and dental professionals about your medications allows for proactive strategies to minimize the impact on oral health.

Brushing Habits

Life in the fast lane can sometimes translate into a rushed approach to oral hygiene. Busy schedules, arthritis, or other physical limitations may affect brushing habits. Embrace a mindful approach to brushing instead, investing a couple of extra minutes to ensure a thorough cleaning. It is a small investment that pays off in a big, healthy smile.

Bottom Line

As we gracefully age, our smiles deserve a little extra TLC to outsmart the sneaky advances of tooth decay. By addressing dry mouth with hydration, being mindful of sugar intake, navigating the medication maze with professional guidance, and adopting a deliberate approach to brushing, we empower ourselves to enjoy a vibrant, healthy smile well into our golden years.
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