The Dental Diva has been out and about in the community and she has BIG NEWS to report!! Did you know Folks over 50 have Five Major Dental Concerns to pay attention to?? Read below to find out more!!!!
Tooth Decay- YES if you are over 50 you are still at risk for cavities!!! You are susceptible to getting them on the surfaces of your teeth that have never been a problem before as well as around old existing fillings. As you age, the roots of your teeth become softer and sometimes more exposed and are therefore more at risk for decay than before!!! THE FIX- Flouride is NOT just for kids!! Flouride is one of the MOST important health measures developed in the 20th century. If you are starting to get cavities, consider a flouride rinse for home and always ask your hygienist about flouride treatment at your dental appointments!!!!
Dry Mouth- Saliva protects us against tooth decay. However, if you’re not producing it, your teeth are at risk for cavities!! How do you know if you have dry mouth?? You’ll have a sticky feeling in your mouth, trouble swallowing, dry throat, and dry cracked lips. You may notice a metallic taste in your mouth or persistent bad breath. You could also feel thirsty more than normal. Dry mouth is most commonly caused by medications and as we age we take more medications. It can also result from smoking!! THE FIX- If you have dry mouth you should try to stimulate saliva production. Dr. Mantzouranis suggests chewing Spry Gum or Candies which contain xylitol, as well as sipping on water throughout the day. Your dentist may also prescribe a prescription saliva substitute or an over the counter formulation.
Gum Disease- If your gums are red, swollen or bleed easily you’ve GOT GINGIVITIS, an early form of GUM DISEASE that can progress and become DANGEROUS. If left untreated gingivitis often becomes periodontitis, which results in the gum pulling away from the tooth and creates a pocket for bacteria to grow. If this condition develops it can cause the loss of bones in your jaw and eventually the loss of your teeth themselves!! It will also effect your over all health!! THE FIX- The BEST fix for this condition is REGULAR dental visits! Dr. Mantzouranis advises you may need to visit your dentist more frequently so your teeth can be properly cleaned and your gums may be treated for the condition. Dr. Mantzouranis explains people who do not seek regular dental care are more likely to have advanced gum disease!!!!
ORAL CANCER!!!!- More than 43,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancers THIS YEAR and more than 8,000 WILL DIE from it, according to The Oral Cancer Foundation. Oral Cancer incidence definitely increases as you get older!! Dr. Mantzouranis advises this can be linked to smoking and alcohol use. Dr. Mantzouranis, among other Doctors have discovered that the Human Papiloma Virus also can cause oral cancer!! THE FIX- Only HALF of people who develop oral cancer survive the disease. The best hope for survival is to discover it at its earliest stages- in which case there is an 80 percent chance of surviving for five years. Dr. Mantzouranis states, “Your dental exam should always include a check for oral cancer.” Dr. Mantzouranis holds the patient’s tongue and checks the soft tissue in the mouth as well as the throat and jaw during her exams. If your dentist does not do this, find another dentist!!!
Keep Smiling and Live Gentle!!!!