How important it is to pay attention to your oral health? Very important.

As adults age, poor oral hygiene is the primary cause of most oral disease and the eventual loss of teeth. The majority of people would readily agree how crucial it is for children to receive good dental care during their formative years, but they may not realize how vital it is to continue dental check-ups through maturity.

A dazzling smile makes a good impression no matter the age of the person but there are numerous other reasons to protect your natural teeth. Older adults are susceptible to oral conditions and diseases due to age-related changes and chronic diseases. Typically, elders use many medications to treat medical conditions. Unfortunately, these same drugs can result in soft tissue damage in the mouth, taste bud changes, and dry mouth.

The ability to eat all kinds of food and speak clearly depends on having a healthy set of teeth. Researchers now indicate there may also be a strong correlation between periodontal (gum disease) and heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, and diabetes. Additionally, periodontal disease can sometimes lead to an infection traveling directly to the site of a joint replacement.

The good news is that when detected early, periodontal disease can be successfully treated with far less invasive methods than were available previously.

To prevent periodontal disease, older adults should have their teeth cleaned by a professional twice a year. Drinking water, avoiding sugary food or drinks, brushing after every meal, and using dental floss are steps everyone can take to help prevent tooth decay.

Source: The American Academy of Periodontology.

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