Top Concerns for Baby Boomer's Teeth
With age, new issues arise related to oral health and comfort. Knowing what to expect
and being proactive about dental care can help you keep your mouth healthy, save
money on expensive procedures, improve comfort, and know what look out for so you
can talk to your dentist.
As the baby boomer generation ages, these are some of the most common issues they
face when it comes to oral health”
Cavities and gum disease
Believe it or not, your risk for cavities increases with age. Older adults may have
new tooth decay at higher rates than children, and about 23 percent of 65- to 74-year-olds
have severe gum disease, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Staying on top of routine care and dental visits can help prevent further decay
and catch and manage problems before they become worse.
While salivary function decreases in part due to age, the dry mouth many older adults
experience can be attributed to medications. Because saliva helps remove food particles
from teeth and neutralizes acids in the mouth, dry mouth can contribute to tooth
Talk to your doctor and dentist about dry mouth to help determine its cause and
determine the best way to resolve it.
Ninety-five percent of oral cancer cases occur in men older than 40, according to
the Academy of General Dentistry. Check your mouth for lesions,
keep an eye on them and notify the dentist if you experience any of the following:
red or white patches on your gums or tongue, sores that fail to heal within two
weeks or an unusual hard spot on the side of your tongue.
Receding gums are a natural consequence of aging; however, because this exposes
unprotected portions of the tooth, sensitivity may occur. Anti-sensitivity toothpaste
may help reduce the discomfort. Other causes for sensitivity include cavities and
cracked teeth. As you know, catching problems early prevents them from worsening,
so let your dentist know if you continue to experience pain.
With age, teeth may become discolored. This may be attributed to staining from food,
drink, or tobacco use. It may also be attributed to a darkening or yellowing of
the inner tooth; because tooth enamel thinks with age, this under layer—known as
dentin—becomes more visible.
While discoloration may not cause a health risk, its appearance may be bothersome.
There are several methods for whitening teeth, which you can read more at the American Dental
Hygienists’ Association website.
Discuss these concerns or any others with your dentist. Remember: Oral health is
a lifetime habit, and dental insurance remains important as important to baby boomers
as it is to their children and grandchildren. Don't Retire Your Oral Health!