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Complications

As we age, oral health is not just about having a good set of teeth. Just as aging changes different systems within the body, the oral cavity also undergoes a number of changes with increasing age.

Dentists are doctors of oral health. They are capable of diagnosing and treating conditions that can range from routine to extremely complex. It is important to continue regular dental visits as you age and see your dentist immediately if you notice any persistent differences.

It is possible that you may experience certain medical conditions and differences:

Darker teeth
You may notice that it is becoming tougher to keep your teeth white. This could be for a couple of reasons:

  • Plaque builds faster and in greater amounts as we age
  • Dentin naturally changes and causes your teeth to look darker

Loss of taste
Losing your sense of taste is common with age. Certain diseases, medications and having dentures can all be reasons for this.

Dry mouth
Dry mouth is when the saliva glands do not work properly. We need saliva to keep our mouths moist, wash away food and neutralize the acids that are produced by plaque. Dry mouth can damage your teeth and make it difficult to eat, swallow, taste and even speak. Talk to your dentist about methods to restore moisture.

Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is more common in people over 45 who smoke, chew tobacco or abuse alcohol. Early signs of oral cancer are often difficult to detect without an examination by a dentist. Even if you do not have any natural teeth, or if you have never smoked, biannual oral cancer examinations by your dentist are recommended. Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial in significantly increasing long-term survival. To help prevent this disease, reduce or remove risk factors like tobacco and alcohol.

It is important to have any change in voice, sore or discolored area of your mouth, which does not heal within 14 days, looked at by your dentist.

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