Make Your Teeth Resilient To Ageing
Dr Lynn Hutchinson discusses how our Greenwich team can help you with age related dental issues.
Good quality dental care is essential for everyone. Whether you are 1 year old or 101 years old, having healthy teeth is important and can have a significant impact on your well being.
Attitudes also change over time, and whereas, once upon a time, the older generation would often not bother seeing a dentist as regularly and accept poor quality and unattractive teeth, this is rarely the case now. Even into their 70s and 80s, and beyond, many people enjoy an active social life and take an ongoing pride in their appearance.
Whilst our teeth may remain healthy and reasonably attractive during our more youthful years, there are a number of challenges that can arise as we get older. There is usually a solution though, and we take a look at some of the more common problems with teeth and gums that are associated with old age.
Cavities can occur at any age, and although older people may not be continually eating sweets as children are prone to do, tooth decay is quite common in older patients. These cavities often occur at the lower part of the tooth near the root. Much of this problem can be prevented by ensuring that you brush around the gum line as well as the upper part of the tooth. Where cavities do occur though, they can often be restored using our popular white dental fillings which is an aesthetically more pleasing option when compared to traditional amalgam fillings. Where the damage is more extensive and fillings are not longer suitable, other treatments such as a crown may be used instead.
One common oral health issue in older people is that the gums tend to recede, This exposes more of the tooth, and especially the less well protected dentin part which makes them more vulnerable to decay. Keeping your gums healthy with regular cleaning, and routine scale and polishes by our hygienist will help to delay this, although it can still happen eventually. There are a number of treatments including special toothpastes that are available to relieve this problem and we will be pleased to discuss these with you.
Arthritis is very common in older people, and this can sometimes lead to difficulty when brushing your teeth (reference). Even if you have used a manual toothbrush all of your life, switching to an electric toothbrush which does much of the work for you, is a useful way of cleaning your teeth better if you have arthritis in your hands or wrists.
Although not a health issue as far as your teeth and gums are concerned, it is common in older people for their teeth to become discoloured and look less attractive than they used to. With older people now more active socially than in the past, it is only natural that they want good looking teeth as well as healthy ones. The Confidental Clinic is pleased to offer a teeth whitening treatment that is highly effective and non invasive and has benefitted many of our older Greenwich patients.
Ageing can present many challenges in a number of areas, including oral health care. With sufficient care and attention, supported by regular ongoing oral health checks at our practice, you can help to preserve healthy and attractive teeth well into your later years. We welcome all ages at our practice, from children with the their first teeth to the elderly. You can arrange to see a dentist by making an appointment on 020 8858 1422 and our team will be delighted to welcome you!
Dr Lynn Hutchinson BDS, MJDF RCS (GDC 210410)