Healthy Living

5 Common Dental Issues for Women in their 50s & What to Do

Women in their 50s start to see a change in their physical attributes.  Changes which are inevitable such as menopause will also affect your dental health. Here are the common dental health issues for women and how to avoid them.

Gingivitis (Gum Disease)

If your gums easily bleed, swell, and are red, then you have gingivitis. It’s the early stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is different from periodontitis, but when it worsens, it will develop the severe condition of periodontitis.

Improper oral hygiene routine allows the bacteria to infect the gums and will eventually lead to gum disease. Unhealthy practices like chewing or smoking tobacco, drastic hormonal changes, and poor nutrition can be factors that cause gingivitis.

Brushing your teeth at least twice in a day, floss after brushing, and schedule a regular visit to your dental hygienist can prevent gum disease from developing.

Tooth Decay

Hormonal imbalances often lead to increased hunger and appetite. Increased appetite often encourages unhealthy food choices. Fast food and excess sugar can provide food for the bacteria in the mouth which enables them to multiply.

These bacteria feed on the food on the tooth. After feeding, bacteria produces acid that is strong enough to break down enamel, leading to tooth decay. Always remember to brush your teeth properly after eating. Opting for more healthy food choices also help fight tooth decay.

Dry Mouth

Your saliva protects teeth against gum disease or tooth decay. Your saliva produces substances which help digest food and keep teeth strong and clean. Saliva is indeed important in keeping our teeth healthy.

However, what if you have dry mouth? The symptoms may include the following:

  • Cracked Lips
  • A sticky sense in your mouth
  • Dry throat
  • Difficulty to swallowing
  • Bad breath

Dry mouth could be also attributed to the medications you take. A dry mouth is also a warning sign that you are experiencing dehydration. To prevent or treat dry mouth,  follow the following remedies:

  • Limit caffeine intake
  • Drink more water
  • Chew sugar-free candies or xylitol gum
  • Quit smoking

Teeth Crowding

Teeth shift as you age. This may cause a problem because it will be difficult to clean your teeth which may lead to tooth decay. Misaligned teeth may lead to more damage to the bones and tissue underneath which is a big concern for women in their late adult ages.

As early as possible, visit an orthodontist to check your dental condition. You’ll be prescribed with a brace or retainer, to make sure your teeth are firm and complete.

Oral Cancer

More people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. Even if men are more likely to develop oral cancer than women, it’s always good to be safe than sorry.  Oral cancer is often caused by cigarettes, tobacco and drinking heavy alcohol.

These are the signs and symptoms of oral cancer:

  • Bleeding inside your mouth
  • Changes in your voice
  • Pain inside your mouth
  • Sores in your mouth that don’t heal
  • Persistent lumps forming in your mouth

If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, visit your dentist or doctor as soon as possible. An early diagnosis leads to earlier treatment which greatly decreases the chance of cancer spreading.

The following tips will increase your chances of avoiding cancer or treating it.

  • Quit smoking cigarettes or tobacco.
  • Observing your mouth for any persistent lumps.
  • Do self-assessment tests.
  • Consult a physician.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Avoiding carcinogens.

Takeaway

Women who practice good oral hygiene at an early age will have better dental health. Just as aging has profound changes on women it’s very likely that it may affect your oral health. When you feel any potential oral health issues, visit your dentist for a checkup.

photo by Baylee Gramling@bayleejadegramling

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