east cobb

The Aging Mouth: What is Normal, What is Not

 

The natural process of aging takes its toll on your teeth and mouth just as it does your body. Here are some common oral health changes you can anticipate as you age:
Enamel Wear — Chewing, cleaning and the normal aging process means your teeth will eventually wear down over time.
Darker Tooth Color — Aging dentin (the tooth’s middle layer) holds stains easier than younger dentin, making your teeth appear slightly darker.
Gum Changes — Aging gums naturally recede over time.
Cavities — Cavities around the root of the tooth are more common as you age. Any fillings you have are also aging and can weaken or crack.
Other changes to your teeth and gums aren’t normal and shouldn’t be overlooked. These symptoms could signal something more serious and are reason to see your dentist right away:
Tooth Loss — Dental cavities and gum disease are the leading culprits of tooth loss in seniors, but neither is a normal part of aging. If your teeth and gums are healthy, there’s no reason why your teeth should fall out.
Dry Mouth – As you age, you may notice a reduced flow of saliva, sometimes as a side effect of medical conditions, medications or medical treatment. Saliva is important because it lubricates the mouth and neutralizes the acids produced by plaque.
Bleeding Gums — Bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease, a leading cause of tooth loss in seniors. But gum disease is not an inevitable result of aging; it’s caused by the build up of plaque. Left untreated, gum disease is linked to other health concerns like arthritis and heart disease.

Puberty Causes Swollen Gums

Puberty is a fact of life where a child’s body matures and becomes capable of reproduction. It is during this time that hair sprouts up in unusual places, voices drop, girls start menstruating and smiles can become plagued with swollen gums that are more sensitive to dental plaque and at greater risk for dental problems.

Puberty is fueled by hormonal signals to the brain and the release of those compounds is essential to the maturation process. However, while those hormones are imbalanced, growing girls and boys are more prone to oral issues including infections, gingivitis and mouth sores. Fortunately a good dental hygiene regimen complete with daily brushing, flossing and regular trips to the dentist will act as a form of preventative dentistry and minimize any oral health risks associated with the natural evolution of life.

Coronavirus Safety Protocols

We want to reassure you that we continue to make every effort to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. Our dental office always has been – and will continue to be – one of the safest places to be.

Our team members strictly adhere to, and exceed the standards for, infection control by wearing personal protective gear, using hospital-grade disinfectants, practicing the latest sterilization protocols, utilizing single-use disposable materials, increased frequency of hand washing, practicing social distancing when possible in the office and more. We will continue to disinfect all areas that each patient comes into contact with after each visit, including but not limited to all counter tops, equipment and dental chairs.

Given the current situation, we have established additional safety protocols to minimize the risk of infection for both our you and our team:

  • As a precaution you will have your temperature screened prior to entering the office. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher (as recommended by the CDC) will have their appointment rescheduled for another day.
  • We ask that if you have any symptoms associated with either the Coronavirus or the flu, to please reschedule your appointment. If you have been in contact with anyone who has had symptoms consistent with the Coronavirus or the flu, we ask that you please reschedule your appointment. To see what the symptoms of the Coronavirus are, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html .
  • You are requested to wait in your car until called into the office for your appointment. When it is time to begin treatment, we will contact you via phone or text and you will be brought directly back into the x-ray and operatory area of the office. We will reserve the waiting room for patients that had to use either public transportation or were dropped off for their appointment. This allows us to limit the number of people in the waiting room following all “social distancing” protocols.
  • We ask that you wear a mask or face covering while in the office – with the exception of when you are in the dental chair and are asked to remove them. We request that you please bring a mask or face covering with you.
  • When you arrive – and before you leave – you will be directed to a sanitary hand washing station to wash your hands.
  • For parents or guardians of minors: only one (1) adult may enter the office with a minor patient. This allows us to adhere to the “social distancing” guidelines.