Why Do We Develop More Dental Health Issues As We Age?
By Roger B. Parkes, DMD on January 23, 2017
As we age, we tend to develop more dental health problems. But why? The problem can be attributed to many different reasons that all lead to a decrease in saliva production. Serous saliva is one of the most important defenses our mouths have against diseases like cavities and gum disease. Saliva offers a base to help neutralize the acids that are introduced into our mouth every day.
One of the most common reasons we experience a decrease in saliva production, is due to excess fat. Over time, the cells that are responsible for producing saliva are replaced by fat, and disable us from producing an adequate amount of saliva. After this has occurred, our mouth becomes more acidic, and that causes far more dental health problems.
Another reason we produce less saliva as we age is due to the medications we are required to take. Many medications that treat things like hypertension, heart disease, and arthritis, have xerostomia as a common side effect. Unfortunately, these medications are necessary and cannot be eliminated.
Finally, treatments like chemotherapy can stunt the reproduction of cells. If you are undergoing chemotherapy, your salivary gland cells will not be replaced as quickly, and your saliva production becomes hindered.
There are many ways to combat the issue of dry mouth. First off, you should try to drink more water every day. Next, you should talk to your dentist or periodontist about professional fluoride treatment, or incorporate home care products that contain fluoride.
Are you suffering from dry mouth? The team at Periodontal Associate of Jackson is here to help you. We are always welcoming new patients, so feel free to contact us today to schedule an appointment at our office in Jackson.
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