Recent research conducted by the American Geriatric Society found that people over the age of 100 had better oral health than those who were born at the same time. But who did not reach this impressive age. The results of the research showed that some 46% of American adults who were born around 1900 had lost all their teeth between the ages of 65 and 74 years, from 1971 to 1974. In comparison just 37% of centenarians who were the same age had no teeth left. It was also found that those who failed to make it past 100 were less likely to have more than half or all of their natural teeth, and were less likely to have very good oral health in comparison with children born to centenarians.
The research is interesting because it does back up a growing belief that there are two stages of being elderly and that these age brackets have specific oral health requirements. In addition, the World Health Organization recently announced the main challenges to health faced by older people were non-communicable diseases. The World Health Professions Alliance has stated that common oral diseases including gum disease and tooth decay, as well as oral cancer, are often neglected but are important as they can significantly impact general health.
There are an increasing number of people over the age of 100 who still have their own teeth, especially as many people are now living longer. If you are getting older then there’s no need for you to lose your natural teeth, provided you look after them properly. The Cosmetic Dentistry Center can help through providing targeted oral healthcare to deal with the specific needs of older people.
One particular problem is that older people are often taking prescription medications for other conditions and these can impact oral health. For example it’s not uncommon for these medications to create a condition called dry mouth. This is where insufficient saliva is produced to keep the mouth clean and comfortable. Dry mouth increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. The good news is that there are lots of things that can be done to help reduce the effects of dry mouth, and if this is a concern it’s probably best to visit your family physician to see if it’s possible to change your prescription. If it isn’t, then your dentist Brooklyn at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center can recommend ways to help boost saliva production. This might include using a saliva substitute, or even something as simple as making sure you’re well hydrated can make a difference. Some people find it helpful to chew sugar-free candies or gum as this helps to stimulate the flow of saliva.
Another problem with aging can be lack of dexterity which can make tooth brushing more of a challenge. One way to easily deal with this issue is to simply switch over to using a good quality electric toothbrush. This can make the process of cleaning your teeth much easier and far more effective. If it is difficult to floss, then a way around this problem is to invest in a WaterPik, as this is a device that will effectively clean in between your teeth using pressurized water.