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Say cheese: taking care of ageing teeth

As we get older, even if we’ve done our very best to care for our teeth, some things are inevitable.  As we get older our mouth goes through changes, just like our bodies, which can result in things like yellowing teeth, receding gums or even teeth that become loose.

In today’s blog we look at some of the fundamental issues that affect all kinds of people out there and what you can do to reduce the impact in the long-term.

Good brushing has and will always be one of the best practices for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.  Equally watching your sugar in-take and obtaining regular dental check-ups will help to ensure your teeth are kept healthier for longer.

Gum disease is something that we are more at risk of as we get older too.  Things like diabetes can make you more prone to it too.  Gum disease is caused by plaque on the teeth, between the teeth and on the gum line and if it is not cleaned off properly it means your gums can become infected.

If you do nothing then this can lead to gum receding, which in turn can make the teeth loosen and fall out in extreme cases.  This is why it’s vitally important to keep things in check and should you have any sign of gum disease, get it treated professionally.

The symptoms of gum disease are fairly easy to spot.  Bleeding gums are one of the first signs, followed by bad breath and swelling of the gums.  They tend to be a deep red colour and can be painful upon touch or pressure.

Yellowing teeth is a common problem too.  Teeth by nature become darker as you get older and with things like tea and coffee as well as smoking being contributory factors you will find that all of these things can stain the teeth.

There are techniques and treatments that can whiten the teeth but it’s very important to ensure that your teeth are healthy to begin with.

Equally, don’t be tempted to use the ‘home’ treatments for whitening your teeth if you have not seen your dentist.  While the levels of peroxide are much milder in the over the counter treatments, they can never spot any problems you may have.  This is why it’s so important to visit your dentist.

Having your teeth whitened is actually more complicated than you would imagine and if you get it wrong there’s every chance you will have inconsistent results at home, whereas a dentist will be experience and know what is required to restore whiteness successfully.

You are what you eat…

Things like fizzy drinks can cause tooth decay but you should also be aware that some types of food can potentially damage your teeth in other ways.

For example, peanuts or crusty break can fracture your teeth if they are weak and in extreme cases you can even lose bits of teeth while chewing.

Getting good calcium rich foods can of course help to boost your tooth health so while you will want to watch your fitness, having milk or cheese can help.

Making sure you visit your dentist regularly is really important.  If you’ve got healthy teeth then your check-ups may well be spaced out over a year or two, but if you have a problem with something like gum disease there’s a chance to get that rectified with closer monitoring and more regular check-ups.

Mankoo

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