“Many studies have pointed out that the care of the elderly and the risk of death are actually closely related to “how many teeth can be left”. To avoid toothlessness in old age, one should start paying attention to dental health after middle age.
Figure / taken from 50+ (Fifty Plus)”
Editor’s note: As you grow older, do you find that food is easy to get stuck between your teeth, the gaps between your teeth become larger, or the roots of your teeth are exposed more than before? In fact, the reasons for tooth loss, in addition toTooth decayandperiodontal diseaseDental-related diseases, including the impact of age factors. Many studies have pointed out that the care of the elderly and the risk of death are actually closely related to “how many teeth can be left”. To avoid toothlessness in old age, one should start paying attention to dental health after middle age.
Are you one of those people who “go to the dentist only when they feel that their teeth are in condition”? If so, after the age of 40, this habit should have changed! Many dentists remind that if you do not take more active measures to maintain the health of your teeth after middle age, it may lead to early tooth loss and you will no longer be able to use your own teeth to eat.
The tooth loss rate in Taiwan over the age of 65 reaches 60%, what are the possible impacts of tooth loss?
Although the average life expectancy of people has been increasing with the advancement of medicine, our “dental life” has not kept up. Including wisdom teeth, adults have a total of 32 teeth in their entire mouth. According to the statistics of the National Health Service in 2015, only 42.1% of Taiwan’s mature population over the age of 65 kept more than 24 teeth, and the proportion of people with no teeth reached 25.8%.
What are the health effects of not having teeth?
Imagine opening your mouth with crumbling, decayed or inflamed teeth, or no teeth at all, which can hinder chewing and even speaking, both of which are important factors in basic daily activities .
In addition, if missing teeth are not filled in time, it may also cause problems such as skewed teeth and affect facial muscles, which will also have a certain impact on the appearance of the tooth.
In view of the fact that “leaving as many healthy teeth as possible” is closely related to the quality of life of the elderly, the Japan Dental Association and the Ministry of Health and Welfare (equivalent to Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare) proposed the “8020 Movement” in 1989, which is “80 years old With 20 teeth left before, I was able to maintain a healthy and happy diet and life.”
Therefore, reducing missing teeth and maintaining strong teeth as much as possible is an important health issue that the mature age group must pay more attention to.
Aging may make teeth more likely to get sick. What oral problems are prone to in mature age groups?
What happens to teeth as we age? The following are the three most common oral health problems among mature age groups:
1. Tooth decay
One might think that there is no direct relationship between tooth decay and age, but that is not the case.
As we grow older, the alveolar bone supporting the teeth will gradually lose, and the gums will gradually shrink, resulting in the exposure of the part that was originally covered in the gums and close to the root of the tooth. If you do not pay attention to cleaning and maintenance, it is easy to cause tooth decay at the root of the tooth.
2. Periodontal disease
Periodontal disease is not a disease unique to the elderly, but periodontal disease may also worsen with age. The tartar accumulated around the teeth will become nutrients for periodontal bacteria, and then become plaque, and even corrode the gums and enamel, eventually leading to tooth loss. If the tooth is not filled in time after the tooth is lost, it may also cause difficulty in occlusal, which will affect normal chewing and eating.
Including tooth decay and periodontal disease, they are actually a kind of infectious disease. Many elderly people have chronic diseases, resulting in decreased body resistance and tissue repair ability. These conditions may also lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease. more serious.
Tooth grinding or habitual forceful clenching of the teeth can lead to abrasion and cracking of the teeth, which is called “occlusal trauma” in medicine. Especially if it is a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment, it will be easily broken because it is particularly fragile. If the root of the tooth is broken, it can only be extracted.
Among them, “periodontal disease” is the number one killer of teeth in the mature age group . According to a survey in Japan in 2018, about 40% of adult tooth extractions are due to periodontal disease. Since the course of periodontal disease is a chronic development, if there is no pain symptom in the early stage, if you do not have the habit of checking your teeth regularly, it may not be easy to detect. When you find out the condition, the symptoms are often not mild.
How to maintain dental health? The most important thing is to clean correctly and return to the doctor on time for “health checkup”
So, how to properly maintain teeth and maintain oral health?
The first and most important thing is to maintain the habit of cleaning your teeth after eating . After eating, the remaining food residues in the mouth will be digested by the bacteria in the mouth and then turned into acidic substances, which will corrode the surface of the teeth and affect the health of the oral environment. Therefore, by brushing your teeth, removing the acidic substances in your mouth, and keeping your mouth clean, you can effectively reduce tooth decay and periodontal disease.
also,brush teethIt does not mean that “it is good to have a brush”, because the teeth are of three-dimensional structure, including the upper end of the teeth, the left and right sides, and the gaps between the teeth. It is necessary to carefully clean each tooth thoroughly. It is recommended to spend at least 3 to 5 minutes to brush your teeth well.
The correct brushing method should be that the surface of the bristles and the surface of the teeth are at a vertical angle of 90 degrees, and the brushing is slightly left and right like a vibration. It is recommended to brush about 20 times on the same surface. If you have removable dentures, you must also remove the dentures for a thorough cleaning to avoid dirt.
The order of brushing teeth can be done according to your dominant hand, imagine four lines running through the inside and outside of the teeth, and complete them in order. When choosing a toothbrush, you should choose a style with a small brush head and soft bristles. When brushing your teeth, you should use gentle and moderate force so that it is not easy to wear the tooth surface. However, if the bristles of the toothbrush have burst, it should not be used again. It is recommended to replace it in an average of 1 to 2 months.
While sleeping, because the secretion of saliva decreases and the effect of acidic substances is easy to increase, if you do not clean your teeth thoroughly during the day, you must brush your teeth carefully and carefully before going to bed every night, and you can use fluoride-containing mouthwash to keep your mouth clean. In addition to toothbrushes, it is also recommended to use interdental brushes and dental floss to better remove tartar or food residues that are easily overlooked between the teeth.
In addition, because the elderly are prone to decrease in hormone secretion, aging and the impact of chronic diseases, the saliva in the mouth will gradually decrease. Saliva can help clean the mouth and reduce the growth of bacteria. Therefore, it is advisable to massage the lower cheeks and the chin extending to the cheeks The salivary glands on both sides promote the secretion of saliva.
To sum up the above, maintain the habit of cleaning the mouth correctly every day, go to the dentist’s clinic for check-ups every six months, and do a good job in oral health care, so that the teeth can accompany us on a longer journey!