As you age, changes happen to your body - subtle things like wrinkles, graying hair, aches and pains. And it's no different with your mouth. With advancing age, you become more susceptible to conditions that can seriously affect your oral health. That's why it's important to understand these conditions and what you can do about them.
Gum disease is caused by bacterial plaque, which releases toxins that irritate the tissues around the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss among older adults. Ill-fitting dentures, poor diet, poor oral hygiene and some medications can increase the severity of this condition. It's critical that gum disease is detected early because the longer it goes untreated, the worse it can get.
THE SIGNS OF GUM DISEASE
Gums that bleed or are red, swollen and tender.
Gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
Pus that appears between the teeth and gums.
Teeth that are loose of have changed position.
Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth.
Saliva flow often decreases with age as a result of some medications. This can result in a condition called xerostomia, or dry mouth. Proper saliva flow is important because saliva contains minerals that help strengthen the teeth, plus it helps neutralize the acids that cause decay. Along with proper oral care, your dentist might prescribe an artificial saliva such as Colgate® Optimoist™.
Cavities aren't just for kids. In fact, there are many types of decay that are especially common among adults, such as root cavities, decay around fillings, and cavities from dry mouth. Ask your dentist if you are at risk.
DETECTION & TREATMENT
To determine if you have gum disease, your dentist will probe to assess your condition. While scaling is the most common treatment, there are many prescription rinses available. Ask your dentist about what's best for you, and exercise proper at-home oral care.
HELPING YOUR SMILE LAST A LIFETIME
BRUSH with a toothbrush clinically proven to reduce gingivitis and effectively clean teeth and gums, like Colgate® Total™ and use one of the many fluoride toothpastes available from Colgate.
FLOSS daily with an advanced-technology, shred-resistant floss such as Colgate® Total™.
RINSE with a fluoride mouthrinse such as Colgate® Fluorigard® to help prevent cavities and freshen your breath.
SEE YOUR DENTIST AND HYGIENIST regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings.