Your dental care routine should remain the same throughout your life: brush twice a day, floss once, get treatment if you have chronic bad breath or swollen, tender gums, and schedule regular dental checkups every six months.
Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults
Regular dental checkups aren’t just for kids. According to the Canadian Dental Association, 48% of Canadians who haven’t seen a dentist in the past year have gum disease, and gum disease is one of the main reasons adults lose their teeth.
Research has also shown a link between gum disease and other chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The good news is, with regular dental visits, gum disease can be caught early, treated and controlled, or reversed.
Female hormone levels can affect your oral health
Changes in women’s hormone levels can exaggerate the way their gums react to plaque during menstruation, when taking oral contraceptives, or during pregnancy and menopause. During these times, our female patients need to take extra care to brush and floss well to prevent gum disease.
The risk of oral cancer becomes greater over the age of 45
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, roughly 4,600 Canadians are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. More men than women develop oral cancer, and the risk of developing it is greatest after the age of 45. The top risk factors for oral cancer include using tobacco products, chewing betel quid and areca nut, excessive alcohol consumption, and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
The good news is that with annual screening we can catch early warning signs – the 5-year survival rate for oral cancer patients whose symptoms are detected early is about 83%. Our Richmond clinic offers VELscope® Oral Cancer Screening – call us to book an appointment.
Your fillings may wear down and need replacing
Dental fillings last for many years, but when they start to break down due to everyday eating and drinking, food and bacteria can get into gaps between the tooth and the filling. When this happens, decay can go deep into your tooth, possibly resulting in the need for a root canal treatment. We test your fillings at every checkup – so that we can replace your worn filling before problems start.
Tooth sensitivity may become an issue
Your gums will naturally recede as you age, exposing areas of your teeth that are not protected by enamel. When you consume hot or cold food and beverages, breathe in cold air, or consume very sweet or sour items, you may feel pain.
Using an anti-sensitivity toothpaste can help, but you should also talk to us about the problem in case the source is a cavity or crack.
You may want a brighter smile
As you age, your teeth naturally yellow and stain, particularly if you smoke, or drink coffee, tea, red wine or cola. Using a whitening toothpaste can help, but to get a bright, youthful look again, you may need to have your teeth professionally whitened.