Oral diseases of teeth and gums, are common among our oldest Americans who grew up without the benefit of community water fluoridation and other fluoride products. Often why a dentist asks “are you pre-medicated” before doing many procedures. Periodontal (gum) disease or tooth decay (cavities) are the most frequent causes of tooth loss. Most older Americans take both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Over 400 commonly used medications can cause a reduction of saliva, a dry mouth and increases the risk for oral disease including cancer.
What You Can Do to Maintain Your Oral Health
- Use fluoride toothpaste, and mouthwash; fluoride provides protection against dental decay.
- Practice good oral hygiene. Careful teeth brushing and flossing reduce dental plaque can help prevent periodontal disease.
- See your dentist on a regular basis, at least one time a year.
- Avoid tobacco. Smokers have seven times the risk of developing periodontal disease compared to non-smokers.
- Limit alcohol. Drinking alcoholic beverages are a significant risk factor for oral and throat cancers. Alcohol and tobacco used together are the primary risk factors for oral cancers.
- A decrease in taste may not be signs of aging, but could be a sign of something else, see your dentist.
Be a Positive Advocate for your Health…. every day!