Nobody likes to acknowledge that they’re getting older, but there is no avoiding it. Aging happens to everyone, and many things can change during this time, including our health and our appearance. But what does aging have to do with dentistry, and why is your dentist in Grand Rapids talking about it? We’re glad you asked.
The Connection Between Oral Health & Aging
There’s a ton of advice out there to help people age gracefully, including eating right, getting enough exercise, and seeing your doctor for preventive checkups. However, oral health is a crucial part of overall health that shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, our oral health is so closely related to overall health that taking care of your teeth can actually slow down the aging process and keep you healthier for longer.
One of the main oral health problems that can cause problems throughout the rest of the body is gum disease. Gum disease is an infection in the gum tissue that is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. This disease can be reversed and treated if it’s caught by your dentist in Grand Rapids in the early stages. However, severe cases of gum disease can be irreversible and can lead to problems. Gum disease is an inflammatory disease, and inflammation in the body is one of the key indicators of life expectancy.
The Problem With Inflammation
Scientists found that chronic inflammation can damage healthy cells, weaken the immune system, and even encourage disease development. If the bacteria in the gums enter your bloodstream, it can then cause inflammation to occur in other parts of the body. This can increase the risk of:
Untreated gum disease can also cause tooth loss, which is a problem in and of itself.
Tooth Loss & Cosmetic Dentistry
Tooth loss of any kind can make someone appear older. But there are many ways to replace teeth through cosmetic or restorative dentistry. Some options for tooth replacement are dental implants, full dentures, or partial dentures.
Now, even if you aren’t missing any teeth, time can still transform the appearance of your smile. Perhaps it’s not quite as white as it used to be. Maybe your teeth look longer thanks to gum recession. Or teeth could have shifted over time making them appear crooked or uneven. There are several ways your dentist in Grand Rapids can help, including:
Just because getting older is inevitable doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to reduce your risk of health problems or transform the appearance of your smile. Make sure you’re taking extra care of your teeth by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and seeing your dentist in Grand Rapids twice a year. Preventive dental care can make all the difference in catching any problems, including gum disease, early when they’re still easy to treat and before they have a chance to contribute to other problems.