Adults and children alike should see their dentist two times a year. While checkups and cleanings are important at any age, you should know that as you get older, you can face certain oral health concerns that make checkups crucial. Many older adults can develop an increased risk for tooth decay. Gum disease can put you in jeopardy of losing teeth. With regular appointments, your dentist can help you manage these developing concerns. A checkup also includes a screening for oral cancer, a potentially fatal condition. Early detection and treatment can make a major difference in your odds for successful recovery.

Your Risk For Cavities Can Increase As You Age

Over time, your enamel can become worn, leaving you with a reduced natural defense against cavities. Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a side effect of a number of medications; this loss of saliva production can reduce your natural defense against cavities. Gum disease can leave your tooth roots exposed, which can mean the more vulnerable area of your tooth is exposed and at risk for cavities. A cleaning from your hygienist can help keep your mouth free of the harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay. However, if you do develop a cavity between appointments, it can be caught during a checkup, and can be easier to treat than if the cavity has more time to grow.

Replacing Lost Teeth

Adult tooth loss is often caused by advanced gum disease. Lost teeth can lead to problems like TMD, and the loss of more teeth. If you have suffered tooth loss, prosthetic dentistry can help you regain a more natural dental function. A replacement tooth supported by a dental implant can even help offset the negative impact of a lost tooth root.