Just because you get older does not mean gum disease and tooth loss is a rite of passage. While your risk of developing gum disease may increase as you get older, there are still steps that you can take to prevent this potentially devastating oral disease.
For both younger and older patients, a good home oral hygiene routine and regular routine preventive care from your dentist are the two primary pillars of gum disease prevention efforts. Your day-to-day oral hygiene habits help to keep the presence of oral bacteria in check, and additional professional care, such as cleanings from a dental hygienist, will eliminate any plaque and tartar that build up despite your regimen of brushing twice each day and flossing daily.
Furthermore, when a dentist is monitoring your teeth and gums at regular appointments, it’s easier to catch oral diseases in their earliest stages, when they are most likely to respond well to non-invasive treatment. For example, gingivitis usually can be addressed with a thorough professional dental cleaning. However, advanced periodontitis may require gum surgery or even tooth replacement if the bone is compromised as well as the gums.
Many patients are keeping their biological teeth well into their older age, and with proper care, there’s no reason you can’t join them. Just check with your dentist to make sure that you’re doing everything possible to protect your oral health as you age.
If you think that you don’t need to maintain a thorough oral hygiene regimen and see your dentist twice each year just because you’re over 60, think again. Gum disease and tooth loss are pathological process at any age. Make sure that you continue to follow up with your routine care every six months and continue to brush and floss as directed. Contact our office to schedule an appointment if you need to get back on track with your oral health care.