According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 40 million Americans are age 65 or older. Dental care is just as important as healthcare as you age. Regular check-ups are still extremely important to the overall well being of every older American. It is not only important to have routine physical and vision exams, it is equally important to make sure you are maintaining excellent oral health. After all, many health conditions can be detected through a dental exam including heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia. In some ways, it is more vital that OLDER Americans have access to their dentist on a regular basis, because they were raised in a time without the benefit of fluoride toothpaste and tap water.
Understanding the Importance of Regular Dental Care
Studies have shown that older Americans have higher rates of tooth decay and cavities than children. Without regular exams the decay and cavities can lead to inflammation, abscesses, and infections. Proper care and maintenance of crowns, partials, and fillings can also keep their mouths healthy and smiling.
Moreover, though, the increased use of medication as you grow older can lead to dental problems such as dry mouth. Dry mouth may sound seemingly harmless, but the condition in its most threatening forms can lead to bacterial overgrowth, infections, or thrush (a type of yeast infection). Medications can also have a part in tooth decay and discoloration. It is important to inform your dentist of any medications and supplements you may be taking so that your mouth can be monitored for any signs of these oral health problems.
Even With Dentures? Absolutely!
Even though about 25% of adults 65 and older have dentures it is still important to have regular exams to check that the denture set is still fitted properly and that their gums are healthy and show no signs of periodontal (gum) disease. In some cases proper nutrition is difficult because foods can cause mild discomfort if not the right texture or level of softness. Vitamin deficiencies can cause mouth ulcers and lead to other more severe health problems like anemia, skin problems, and joint pain.
While it may not seem like a big deal to miss a check up or not have regular check-ups at all as you age it is still vital to make sure your see a dentist on a regular basis. Many health problems could be prevented with a simple cleaning and checkup. Call us today to schedule your next check up.
Call today to schedule your dental appointment at Cedar Park Premier Dentistry! (512) 434-0560