Common Dental Issues You May Experience As You Age

Your body goes through a great many changes as you start to age, many of which are very obvious and some that are not so obvious. For instance, you’ll quickly notice that you probably have to take things a little slower, because your actions and reactions simply aren’t as crisp as they were when you were younger.

One category of changes to your body that you might not think about immediately are those related to your oral health. It’s very possible that the aging process will bring on a loss of bone mass, higher incidence of tooth decay, and possibly a dry mouth situation. For further information, visit, where you’ll find everything you need to educate yourself.

In this article, we’ll discuss these prominent changes to your oral health, and discuss some steps you might want to take in order to alleviate any discomfort or issues associated with the changes.

Dry mouth

Dry mouth is a situation that can be quite uncomfortable for a person, but it can also lead to more cavities and a greater incidence of tooth decay. For the most part, dry mouth is caused because there is less saliva being secreted by your salivary glands, and saliva is what keeps the mouth lubricated.

You may notice that it’s more difficult to handle really chewy foods without drinking something, or you might wake up in the middle of the night with dry lips and a parched throat. Since there isn’t as much saliva available in your mouth to coat your teeth with protective bacteria, it’s much more likely that cavities will form, since your teeth are left relatively unprotected.

You may find yourself reaching for the water bottle at various points throughout the day, because your mouth is simply uncomfortably dry and that makes swallowing, speaking, and eating much more difficult. There are several ways you can address a dry mouth situation, beginning with drinking more fluids throughout the day.

Your dentist may recommend switching your mouthwash to something less harsh, something that does not dry out your mouth so badly. There are also some supplements you can take which will stimulate the salivary glands, so that the dry mouth situation is easier to manage and less bothersome throughout the day and on into the sleeping hours.

More cavities

As everyone knows, your teeth are comprised of a number of different layers of material. The top layer of your teeth is called the enamel, and as it begins to wear down with age, it’s likely that a person will go through symptoms such as sensitivity to hot or cold items. For instance, ice cream, cold drinks, or hot soups might be all it takes to trigger an episode of sensitivity in your teeth, and to cause you to wince in discomfort.

You might also experience the effects of having more brittle teeth, where they are more prone to chips or cracks when impacting some solid object. Dentists will often recommend a special kind of toothpaste for individuals who have sensitive teeth. If brittle teeth are damaged by chipping or cracking, that will call for something a little more serious.

A cosmetic dentist might overlay the chip with a veneer that’s colored to match the rest of your teeth. There are a great many options for teeth that become damaged through tooth decay. If the degree of decay is severe enough, it could be that dental implants are the best option to restore normalcy to your mouth.

The great thing about dental implants is that they are the most natural way to replace a tooth, and they will never slip around in your mouth. Because a dental implant is anchored right to your jaw bone and actually becomes part of it, you’ll never have to worry about loose teeth or having your implant shift around in your mouth.

There are of course, other options for replacing teeth that have become badly decayed, for instance, bridges and dentures. However, in terms of providing the most natural solution to tooth loss, your best option will almost always be having a dental implant installed.

Loss of bone mass

If you’ve lost some teeth in your mouth and have not replaced them fully, you may experience a significant level of bone mass loss in your gums. When that happens, it can cause your face to have a sunken appearance that makes you look older and less like yourself. People who lose bone mass will have a more difficult time having an implant installed, because the jawbone is where an implant must be anchored to provide a foundation for the cap which will be emplaced.

However, even if you have lost some amount of jaw bone mass, it might still be possible to undergo a dental implant, since you can have bone grafted onto your existing jawbone to make up for the loss. When there are no teeth in a certain section, the jawbone tends to recede because there is no stimulation from the teeth, and with no stimulation, the jawbone tends to retract and recede.

To prevent any further bone loss, your dentist might possibly recommend an approach which makes use of either full dentures or partial dentures. This will provide the stimulation needed by your jawbone to stop bone loss and to satisfy your chewing and speaking functions.

Partial dentures might be indicated for people who have a few teeth missing but require some support. Full dentures are best installed in cases where people have lost all their teeth and need a full replacement option.

There are more exotic possibilities available as well, for instance all-on-four dental implants that can replace an entire arch of upper or lower teeth with just four implants being installed. Of course, this will be more costly than it would be to have dentures installed, but it’s a much better solution, because implants will never shift around in your mouth.