Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne Looks at Aging and Your Smile

Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne is always happy to answer any questions or concerns. After all, resolving your smile dilemmas is our specialty. As we grow older, our bodies experience many changes. At the same time, our mouth, teeth and gums can undergo some drastic changes depending on our lifestyle, medications and other factors. Staying aware can help you remain proactive with your oral health and well-being. Discover more things to consider below:

Your mouth changes as you age. The nerves in your teeth can become smaller, making your teeth less sensitive to cavities or other problems. If you don’t get regular dental exams, this in turn can lead to these problems not being diagnosed until it is too late.

  • Clean between your teeth once a day with floss or another flossing tool.
  • If you wear full or partial dentures, remember to clean them on a daily basis. Take your dentures out of your mouth for at least four hours every day. It’s best to remove them at night.
  • Drink tap water. Since most contains fluoride, it helps prevent tooth decay no matter how old you are. Get more advice at Mouth Healthy

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Don’t Ignore Oral Changes

If you are experiencing any difficulty chewing or swallowing or have any dental discomfort, it is important to call Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne for a check up. Putting off the inevitable will only lead to more extensive dental work down the road. Consider how uncomfortable it would be to spend part of your next vacation laid up due to dental issues! Avoid the problem by maintaining your daily brushing, flossing and swishing routine, along with consistent dental visits.

Potential physical, sensory, and cognitive impairments associated with aging may make home oral health care and patient education/communications challenging.

Dental conditions associated with aging include dry mouth (xerostomia), root and coronal caries, and periodontitis; patients may show increased sensitivity to drugs used in dentistry, including local anesthetics and analgesics. More details at American Dental Association

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Your Smile Needs To Stay Hydrated

One dental issue that rarely gets discussed is the decrease in saliva that comes with aging. It is essential to keep your mouth hydrated — especially in the heat of summer. Water should be your first option, but when you want something more flavorful go for sugar-free options, including herbal teas and homemade flavored waters (infused with strawberry, lemon, cucumber and more). These are tasty ways to remain hydrated. Learn more about the importance of combating dry mouth below:

Dry mouth

Saliva protects us against tooth decay. But if you’re not producing it, your teeth may be at risk. The calcium and phosphate present in saliva prevent demineralization of your teeth, Jones says. 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 may or may not feel thirsty. Dry mouth is often caused by medications, and as people age, they take more medications. It can also result from smoking or from a blow to the head that somehow damages the salivary glands.

The Fix: If you have dry mouth, you should try to stimulate saliva production. Jones says some people just sip water all day while others find that chewing sugar-free xylitol candies or gum helps. Your dentist may prescribe a prescription saliva substitute or recommend over-the-counter formulations for you to try. Learn more at Huffington Post

If it has been a while since you’ve had a complete dental exam, contact Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne today to schedule a visit with Dr. Robert L. Harrell. He is recognized as one of the city’s top dentists year-after-year by Charlotte magazine. Call Adult Dentistry now at 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on our website to make an appointment.

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