Top 8 Dental Concerns of Baby Boomers
The Baby Boomer Generation is facing a particular challenge that is a bit different than generations before them: a healthy smile. That’s because quality dental care is readily accessible, and it’s actually an option to keep your natural teeth for life - but only if you’re taking the right steps. Dentures don’t have to be an option if you know how to avoid these 8 common issues that impact middle-aged adults:
1. Dry Mouth
Many of us take medications that reduce our salivary flow, but it’s also normal to see less saliva production with age. A dry mouth can greatly increase your risk for tooth decay, even if you’ve never had problems with cavities in the past. Talk to our dentist about a saliva substitute or fluoride gel to keep your teeth strong.
2. Oral Cancer
95% of oral cancer cases impact men over the age of 40. However, you’re not off the hook if you’ve always avoided tobacco or alcohol. Other risk factors like sun exposure and HPV are also known to cause precancerous and pathological tissues. An annual oral cancer screening by your dentist could save your life.
3. Gum Recession
Heard of the phrase “long in the teeth?” Gum recession is commonly seen in our Baby Boomer and older patients. Gum recession exposes the root surface of teeth which are seven times more prone to decay. Recession can be caused by a few things, including aggressive tooth brushing, grinding (bruxism) and gum disease. Catching it early can help you prevent decay, sensitivity or the need for a gum graft. Decay on root surfaces is like the beginning of the end of your tooth.
4. Tooth Wear and Aging Dental Work
Tooth wear is one of the most undiagnosed factors leading to break down of your teeth, aging dental work and gums. Clenching grinding and misaligned teeth over time cause your teeth to lose the anatomy needed to support healthy chewing. Once your teeth become worn we see inappropriate and excessive forces develop which can have serious consequences to your natural teeth as well as your dental restorations. If not too late, routine exams give us the opportunity to pinpoint worn areas to correct them before they require more complex restorations later.
5. Cavities and Gum Disease
It may seem that suddenly, you’re experiencing problems with your teeth - even if you’ve never had a cavity in your life. As time goes by, wear and tear, medications, decreased salivary flow, diet, or poor oral hygiene practices catch up with you - your smile will be much more prone to cavities and gum disease. As we age routine preventative care is more important than ever. Schedule a cleaning at least every 6 months, and don’t forget to floss every single day.
6. Tooth Discoloration
Covered in thousands of microscopic pores, your teeth naturally absorb the stains and discolorations of the foods and drinks you enjoy day after day. But one tooth becoming discolored could be a sign of a dead tooth from previous trauma or bite related trauma. Tooth whitening can be a simple way to provide a younger looking smile!
7. Cosmetic Concerns
Your teeth can take a lot of abuse over time, but they’ll eventually show for it. As discoloration, minor cracks, chips, or worn edges come into play, it can make you start to feel self-conscious about your appearance. Fortunately, there are a variety of aesthetic options available to restore both beauty as well as integrity to your age worn smile!
8. Failing and Missing Teeth
It’s not uncommon for Baby Boomers, by this point, to have lost a tooth due to an accident or disease. Perhaps you’re struggling with one that’s on its last leg. Losing a tooth can change your entire bite, so pulling it isn’t the last step. Replacing your missing tooth with a natural looking and comfortable restoration, such as an implant or bridge, will prevent your other teeth from shifting out of place causing more serious damage over time.
Even if you’ve never had a history of dental problems, as a Baby Boomer, your teeth are going to start showing signs of age. You deserve to have an attractive and healthy smile for the best time of your life!
Our Plano dentists are happy to accept new patients of all ages. Call Imagecare Dental Group today! 972-618-5000.