Our smile changes with age. Did you know that several age related dental problems have been linked to several health problems in an aging population. It is easy to understand how dementia can cause tooth loss. People suffering from Alzheimer’s, memory loss, or other types of senility can easily forget things such as to take their medicines or brush their teeth. The lack of proper dental health is the major cause of periodontal disease which, in turn, is the major cause of tooth loss. That’s understandable. It is easy to understand that people suffering from arthritis, particularly in their wrists and hands, can suffer tooth loss. It’s painful and difficult for them to hold a toothbrush long enough to brush their teeth properly. A study performed in England has now established a link between memory, walking speeds, and edentulism (complete tooth loss) in the elderly.
It’s not hard to understand how memory can affect tooth loss. If someone consistently forgets to brush their teeth then they are eventually going to lose them. Even so, memory performance and walking speed were compared in 3, 166 adults ages 60 and over from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). When the memory and walking speed of people with edentulism (total tooth loss) were compared to that of their peers with teeth it was found that nearly 10 percent of the edentulous group performed worse in walking speed and memory. Even more interesting was the fact that once the results were adjusted for other factors including sociodemographic characteristics, smoking, drinking, and other health problems, edentulous people of the same age still walked slower than their counterparts with teeth.
The findings show that edentulism in people ages 60 to 74 can be an early indication of mental and physical decline.
You Could Begin Struggling with Worn Teeth or Discomfort
One common symptom as people age is wear along the edges of the teeth, potentially to the point of damage that could lead to discomfort and eventually infection. For patients that suffer from subconscious teeth grinding, the effects can be even worse. Fortunately, restorative dentistry makes it possible to prevent further wear, while also protecting against exposure to bacteria that could lead to painful tooth infections.
For worn teeth, many dentists recommend porcelain crowns, which are both natural-looking and durable.
Addressing cosmetic imperfections for older adults
Other common results of aging are more cosmetic in nature. For instance, you might notice your teeth lacking vibrancy, or even looking downright discolored. Professional teeth whitening can often help to reverse staining and discoloration, leading to teeth that look both younger and more beautiful.
For other aesthetic issues, such as jagged teeth, uneven edges, or even minor gaps between some of the teeth, porcelain veneers can provide a great solution.
Learn more about age related dental problems
Now that you’ve celebrated several birthdays, are you wondering if you should actually be doing more to help protect your smile? Perhaps you are more concerned by obvious signs of aging, that are causing your smile to look older than you are, and certainly much older than you feel. Fortunately, restorative dental treatment like crowns, combined with cosmetic treatment like veneers, can help to address most age related dental problems. These restorations can offer beautiful-looking and even smile-saving results. So, whether you are hoping to improve the look or comfort of your smile, why not schedule a dental visit? Side affects from medications that seniors take can cause dental problems also.
Restorative treatment helps to prevent discomfort and infection, while cosmetic treatment can help to address most aesthetic issues. You can schedule your dental appointment with Dr. Fondriest by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts at (847) 234-0517. We welcome patients from the North Shore area of Chicago and the surrounding communities.