The Impact of Ageing on Teeth Health
In the era of forever 21 nobody can hold youth forever as ageing is an inescapable process. Ageing affects the whole body at certain levels but we tend to ignore the teeth health usually until we are the victim of ill fitted prosthesis.
Receding of gums
The far most common problem is neglecting the periodontal health which includes our gums. Poor oral hygiene leads to build of plaque and calculus with time that leads to receding of gums and that loosens the support of your tooth which was completely surrounded by a healthy gum before. In this way people will first complain of the mobile tooth and later loss of a tooth only because we never thought that ageing has some effects on our gums too.
Another complaint is drifting of teeth which causes supraocclusion or some rotation and that leads to improper contacts during mastication which later causes the TMJ problems. People of older age take several medications that might lead to swelling of the gums in that case changing the medication is important. Several studies have shown drastic changes on periodontal health because of uncontrolled diabetes which also leads to thinning of gums and eventually leading to bleeding and loosening of gums.
People at particular age also suffer from reduced dexterity to maintain oral health and skipping the basic rituals of maintaining teeth health by simply flossing and brushing twice. These negligence leads to food impaction, building up of plaque calculus and a vicious cycle of tooth loss.
Reduced salivary secretion and tooth cavities
People of older age also complain for reduced salivary secretions which were normal when they were young. Saliva plays an important role in maintaining a healthy environment which is unfavorable for the growth of microorganisms that cause cavities. Reduced salivary secretions can then lead to different kinds of cavity such as cavity in between teeth and smooth surface cavity. Patients of older age usually complain of xerostomia that might be due to your aged salivary gland, medications causing xerostomia, or it could be due to diseased salivary gland.
There are some autosomal diseases that affect the salivary gland function of producing saliva and one of them is sjogren syndrome. Exposure to harmful radiation can also lead to reduced salivary secretions. Postmenopausal women do suffer from xerostomia due their hormonal changes and they might also complain for the burning sensation around their mouth.
Another common findings in the aged people is tooth wear and the underlying reason could be parafunctional habits or faulty contacts that could be due to supra occluded teeth or it could be due to wrong brushing technique which was never corrected in the young age as well. As we age the protective actions of dentine and pulp are reduced to an extent that it cannot withstand the forces which were bearable before and unfortunately results in chipping off enamel which is the outer layer of tooth or it can also lead to fracturing of tooth.
Another undeniable impact of ageing is bone loss. There are several types of bone loss and it occurs at different rates in the upper and lower jaw respectively which will again lead to loosening of teeth and eventually loss of a tooth. Bone loss also affects your old prosthesis which was completely fit to your oral structures before.
One of the effects of ageing is thinning of oral mucosa and it leads to frequent traumatic injuries which could be due to chipped teeth or altered occlusion because of drifted teeth
Ageing is an undeniable fact and somewhat uncontrollable but taking care of your health can halt some of the deleterious effects on your body and taking care of teeth health is as important as taking care of your body health