“Congratulations Nate Anderson for being published in OC Register.”

Published by:

Amy Cook, OCRegister

April 2, 2018

Dental health is important at all ages, but it can decline as you get older. Even with vigilant dental care as a child and an adult, problems can emerge later in life. Tooth sensitivity and tooth loss are not just a fact of life as you age. From oral health issues to prevention measures, here are four things to know about dental health.

Oral diseases are common in older people

Tooth decay and other oral diseases are common among people over the age of 65. Many people may not have grown up with fluoride products or water fluoridation to protect their teeth. Older people may also be disabled or homebound, which puts them at risk for poor oral health. After retirement, many people lose dental coverage, and Medicare is not designed for regular dental care. These factors can all contribute to declining oral health.

Teeth can become more sensitive

Gum disease becomes more common with age, with nearly 25 percent of people between ages 65 and 74 suffering from severe gum disease. The severity of gum disease is measured by a loss of attachment of the tooth to adjacent gums. Receding gums expose tooth enamel, which causes sensitivity. Sensitive teeth can be affected by cold or hot food or drinks, cold air and sensitivity to sweet or sour drinks.

Medications can affect oral health

Nearly 90 percent of people over age 65 use at least one prescription drug. Some drugs can cause excessive dry mouth. Dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but it can lead to cracked lips, a fissured tongue and cavities. People suffering from dry mouth should drink or sip water regularly and limit alcohol and drinks high in sugar and caffeine.

Read the full article in Orange County Register.