As we get older we tend to start to pay attention to our health. By the time we hit 40, our bodies start telling us that we can’t do all the things we once could. We have to get to sleep a little earlier and eat a little better. We are just passing through another stage of life and as long as we take care of ourselves, life keeps running smoothly. It is strange considering how we tend to take better care of our bodies as we age, that we tend to neglect our oral health even more. What causes people over 40 to stray from the path of good oral hygiene and why is it more important than ever for adults to take care of their teeth?
First of all, as they say in both the dentist office and the medical office alike, “health starts and ends in the mouth.” This is not just a nifty saying either, new studies are showing clear evidence between the oral health of a person and the health of their heart and circulatory system. When people have certain gum diseases or when they suffer from the lack of nutrient in their mouths, they also tend to have heart problems. A good dentist has always been able to spot underlying health issues from a simple dentist check up. So then, as we add on the years, it only makes sense that we give more care and concern to our mouths, to try and help ensure the health of the rest of our bodies. It is also important to remember that as we age, those of us who smoke or use other tobacco products are at a heighten risk for oral cancer and having a regular dentist visit is an effective way to screen for potential future problems.
The next big issue faced by adults who start to see less and less of their dentist is the risk of tooth decay and loss. All our lives, from the time we are children at the family dentist, they tell us the same thing, “Take care of your teeth, you only have one set.” Unfortunately for many people, they never heed that warning, and only realize the importance of taking care of their teeth once it is too late. Good oral hygiene is a lifelong journey which must always be given the best attention. One of the saddest things to see is when people lose their teeth because of neglect and have to get dentures. Sadly, many people believe that dentures are the same as teeth and even easier to take care of. What people do not realize is that once you lose your teeth, your sense of taste changes, and your ability to speak changes and even what you can eat is not the same. Our teeth are an important part of who we are and if we want to live long and healthy lives we have to see to it that our mouths are as healthy as the rest of our bodies.