How Does Our Mouth Change As We Get Older?

How does our mouth change as we get older?As we age, some changes in our body become more obvious than others. Maybe your joints ache a
little more than they used to or maybe you need put your glasses on to read. Something a little less obvious are the changes in our mouths. These changes can lead to health issues if they go unnoticed. The mouth is the gateway to our health. If we maintain the health of our mouth, we can prevent some health issues in the rest of our bodies. As we get older, it becomes increasingly important to keep up with preventative care. Some of the ways that our mouths can change as we age are an increase in dryness, enamel erosion, and an increased risk for oral cancer. 

Our bodies produce less saliva

Many people begin to take more medication as they get older, and dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications. Studies also show that many adults’ mouths tend to dry out naturally as they age. Saliva is extremely important to oral health as it helps rinse away bacteria and leftover food particles. When soft tissue in your mouth becomes dry, it can become susceptible to infection. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help combat dry mouth.

The enamel erodes

We use our teeth so much that over time the chewing, drinking, and grinding can make a big impact on the surface. In addition to the daily wear and tear, many of us encounter breakages, chips, and cavities throughout our lives. After years of exposure to these elements, the enamel, the protective outer layer of our teeth, begins to wear down and erode. To lessen enamel loss, it is important to be aware of the habits that contribute to the erosion. These habits include the chewing of ice, grinding your teeth, and the frequent consumption acidic foods and beverages.

The risk for oral cancer increases

The overall risk for getting cancer of any kind increases as we get older. Most people diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 55. Therefore the older we get, the more vigilant we must become with our oral cancer screenings. The screenings can be done simply and as painlessly as possible by your dentist. If you notice any sores, bumps, or new issues in your mouth, be sure to
mention it to your dentist.

No matter your age, your oral health is important.

Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris of Mansfield Dental Associates can help determine the right care for you at. If you would like to schedule a consultation, then call 817-473-6227. We proudly welcome patients from Mansfield, TX and the surrounding areas, including South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian, and more.