Keeping Teeth Important As You Age

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

More aging adults are keeping their natural teeth, which is great news. According to the Coalition for the Oral Health for the Aging, the number of older adults with no natural teeth has declined — from 41% in 1986 to 21% in 2004. The importance of proper oral health for the U.S. population will become even more important over the next 20 years as the age group over 65 is expected to grow, from 12% in 2000 to 20% in 2030.

Keeping natural teeth is not the only component for a healthy mouth. Teeth rely on healthy gums and soft tissues of the mouth for a sound foundation. Periodontal (gum) disease, the nation’s leading cause of tooth loss among older adults, is treatable at any age.

The well-being of an aging mouth also correlates to your overall health. There’s evidence of an association between gum inflammation and serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Older adults with periodontal disease even face a 25% higher risk of death from pneumonia.

React quickly to symptoms of gum disease, including sore gums that bleed when brushing, receded gums, persistent bad breath, and gums that are dark red in color rather than a healthy pink. Gum disease does not improve without treatment and the earlier your mouth is restored to a healthy state, the less treatment will be required.

Call (828) 274-9440 to request an examination if you are experiencing any signs of gum disease.

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