COLORADO SPRINGS — The simple solution for having healthy teeth and gums that we generally hear from dentists has always been, regular check ups, brushing and flossing.
But, Dr. Fred Guerra with Guerra Dental in Colorado Springs says as we age more can be needed to keep our mouths in tip-top condition.
“The mouth is the portal, or the gateway to our nutrition. For seniors if they have some compromised ability to eat their food we know that they can have some nutritional deficiency.”
Dr. Guerra says not only can changing nutrition be an issue for oral health, but so can certain medications.
“People as they get older generally get more diseases or medical complications. Those are usually treated by medication. Those medications can have a high incidence of dry mouth (as a side effect) and that can lead to the inability to comfortably chew food.”
If you put those factors together with the fact that our teeth are aging themselves, regular brushing, flossing, and two cleanings a year can begin to not be enough action, says Dr. Guerra.
“Now we can have issues for folks in addition to the medications where they have longevity issues. Those longevity issues can contribute to excessive wear, cracked teeth, fractures, and loss of bone. You've heard the saying that someone is long in the tooth? That just means more tooth is above the gumline than below the gumline.”
In our next story Dr. Guerra talks about the ways these issues can be addressed.
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