As you age, you sometimes have to take extra measures to safeguard your health. One area that might require additional care is your teeth and gums. Seniors are more vulnerable to certain dental problems due to aging. If you are 60 years of age and older, here is what you need to know about your oral health.

What Problems Can Occur?

Other health problems that you develop as you age can lead to the need for medication. Unfortunately, some of the medications you will have to take can cause dry mouth. Dry mouth opens the door for bigger oral health problems, including gum infection, mouth sores, cavities, and tooth loss.

Another potential problem that can occur as you age is that your teeth can sometimes darken. The darkening is the result of changes to the tissue beneath the enamel. Although it might not cause health issues, it can be a cosmetic one that causes self-esteem problems.

Tooth loss is not exclusive to older people, but it does occur. Missing teeth can lead to an uneven jawbone. The missing teeth leaves spaces that other teeth can drift into. When the teeth drift there, the jawbone will shift to reflect the new alignment of the teeth.

Seniors who wear dentures can experience denture-induced stomatitis. The condition is similar a yeast infection, but it can cause inflammation of your gums.

What Can You Do?

One important step you can take towards caring for your teeth and gums is to continue to brush and floss. Talk to your dentist about special changes you need to make to your oral health regimen, such as the addition of an antibacterial mouthwash.

If you have dry mouth due to medication, try drinking more water. You can also ask your family dentist about artificial saliva. He or she might also recommend talking to your doctor about making a change to your medication. Reducing the medication or switching to a new one could be the answer to dry mouth.

If you wear dentures, it is important that they are cleaned daily. You also need to have them adjusted if you have fit issues. Poor fitting dentures are more likely to lead to an infection. They also make it more challenging to keep your adjacent natural teeth healthy.

Your dentist can provide other tips for taking care of your teeth as you age. Prevention and early detection are key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy.  Contact a dentist, such as at Pacific Ave Dental/Allan L. Hablutzel, DDS, for more help.