Posts for: June, 2017
As you grow older, your mind may be preoccupied with the health of your bones, heart, or brain. However, keeping your teeth healthy is an equally important part of the aging process. Older adults are at an increased risk for a variety of oral health conditions, which makes it essential for every patient to speak with your dentist to create a prevention plan that's best for you!
ORAL HEALTH CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH AGING
Just as the rest of your body continues to change as you age, your mouth changes, too. Certain conditions become more likely to develop as you reach older adulthood, including:
- DRY MOUTH. Although your salivary glands continue to produce saliva as you become older, medications and chronic health problems often cause a dry mouth.
- ROOT DECAY. Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but improper nutrition or cleaning may lead to decay at the roots of your teeth.
- DIMINISHED SENSE OF TASTE. Your eyesight and hearing are not the only senses affected by aging. The ability to taste naturally diminishes over the course of the older adulthood.
- TISSUE INFLAMMATION. Are your gums tender, bleeding, or inflamed? Tissue inflammation may indicate gum disease or may be a consequence of wearing dentures that don't fit well.
- ORAL CANCER. Risk for most cancers increases with age, and oral cancer is no exception. Older adults area at increased risk for oral cancer compared to younger individuals.
WAYS TO PREVENT DENTAL PROBLEMS
- DIET. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables. Choosing water over coffee or soda can keep your teeth whiter and cavity-free. Also, remember that two minute twice daily brushing and flossing are essential habits to prevent cavities and gum diease at any age.
- REGULAR DENTAL VISITS. Visiting the dentist twice a year is vitally important when you reach older adulthood. Your dentist is familiar with your oral health and may be the first person to notice a sore, discolored patch, inflammation, or other abnormality that may indicate oral cancer or gum disease.
Summer is fast approaching--that wonderful time each year when fresh and delicious produce abounds! Although everyone loves the availability of the great foods of summer, your teeth, gums and tissues all rely on an appropriate mix of vitamins and minerals to maintain good oral health no matter what time of year. In previous studies, nutients in fruits and vegetables such as dietary fiber, potassium and antioxidants have all been associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and cancers, including oral cancer.
Four foods to enjoy this summer to ensure a healthy mouth:
- Watermelons have a high water content, which dilutes the affects of the sugars that they contain and stimulates the flow of saliva. In addition, research has shown that eating foods that are full of water, which watermelon is 92 percent water, helps to keep you satiated on fewer calories. Finally, in addition to containing skin-protecting lycopene, eating watermelon can help you stay hydrated during the hot Oklahoma summer months, which not only keeps your memory sharp and your mood stable, but also helps to keep your body cool.
- Strawberries are juicy and delicious, and they are considered a superfood. Nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants (such as vitamin C, which can help with cancer prevention), strawberries also promote eye health, help fight bad cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure.
- Not only can apple consumption boost your immune system, reduce cholesterol and reduce the risk for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, but they can also help you attain a whiter, healthier smile! Biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, and in the process, lowers the levels of bacteria and other harmful acids, which leads to a lower likihood of tooth decay. Finally, eating an apple a day has been linked to heart health, including a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.
- Tomatoes are a delicious and healthy snack that can help to ward off cancer! The yummy red fruit contains lycopene, which helps to protect your skin from sunburn. Tomatoes can also help to fight heart disease due to the niacin, folate, and vitamin B6 nutrients that they contain. They are also high in crucial antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin A, which work to prevent DNA damage.