Do you feel young, inside but think your smile tells a different story? Many people think that losing teeth, or developing gummy smiles, is inevitable as they age. Some give up hope altogether, that their teeth and gums can be healthy as the years go on, much less beautiful. But preventive care can help you maintain your oral health, even as you age, and cosmetic dentistry can help improve the esthetics of your smile. Instead of becoming discouraged by waning oral health, it’s time to take steps to improve it.
Common Concerns As We Age
One of the primary changes in an aging person’s health that can negatively impact oral health is fluctuations in hormones. Drops in estrogen for women going through or just after menopause, in particular, can make it difficult for the body to maintain healthy bones. That’s because estrogen helps regulate bone calcium, and when estrogen lessens it becomes more difficult for your body to effectively use the calcium you intake. While your physician may recommend you increase your calcium to cope with bone loss, your dentist also recommends it for protecting your smile!
Medical Conditions Can Impact Your Oral Health
Diabetes is one of the medical conditions most often talked about when it comes to oral health, because of the increased risk of periodontal disease in patients with diabetes. For years researchers have been studying the links between the two, and it has become clear that patients with diabetes are much more likely to suffer worsening symptoms of gum disease. For this reason, it’s imperative that diabetics schedule routine dental checkups, during which the dentist can watch for signs of gum disease, clean plaque buildup, which is a common cause of it, and if necessary, do more extensive cleaning, called ultrasonic scaling.
For patients whose smiles have already suffered due to gum disease or other conditions, there is hope in the form of cosmetic dentistry. Gum lifts, for instance, can help drastically improve the appearance of one’s smile by improving the symmetry of the gum line. Professional whitening, bonding and veneers can also help improve the look of teeth that seem worn or aged.