How Does Aging Affect the Gum Line?

healthy teeth and gums

From creaky knees to gray hair, we all know the body changes with age — and the mouth is no different. Tooth loss is highly evident, but what people may not notice as much are changes to the gums that gradually occur. However, as you get older, your gums will change due to hormones, wear and tear, and other factors. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene can help keep your gums healthy for the long-haul. Below, find out more about problems that can occur with periodontal tissue, as well as some solutions and prevention tips. 

Receding Gums

Many older adults experience receding gums, which is when the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth and exposes the root of the tooth. Once exposed, the root of the tooth is very sensitive to heat, cold, and air. Gum recession also makes it easy for bacteria to build up between the root and the gum, leaving you at a higher risk of experiencing root decay, or cavities on the root of the tooth. Gum grafts in Belmont can help by replacing the lost tissue. 

Gum Disease

Older adults may also experience gum disease, which can occur due to a variety of factors, including poor oral hygiene, hormonal changes, smoking, diabetes, and as a result of certain medications. When left untreated, gum disease results in side effects like bad breath, bleeding gums, and, eventually, tooth loss. Early detection and prompt treatment is vital for continued oral and overall health. 

Oral Cancer

Patients who smoke or have a family history of cancer are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer, which may form on the gums. However, even patients without any of the risk factors are vulnerable to oral cancer. Detecting irregularities early is the most important step for successful treatment. Irregularities to look out for include unusual bumps, lumps, or sores that persist for more than two weeks. 

How to Keep Your Gums Healthy as You Age

You can help prevent these three common gum problems by practicing good oral hygiene habits and visiting your periodontist regularly. Brush your teeth for two minutes, at least twice a day, floss daily, and have a checkup and cleaning performed every three to six months. Also, eating a nutritious diet low in sugar and fat and full of fresh fruits and vegetables will promote good gum health. 

When was the last time you had your gums checked out? If it has been awhile, don’t wait another day to schedule a checkup — doing so will help prevent the problems mentioned above to keep you smiling healthily for life. 

Meet the Periodontist

Dr. Alexander Schrott provides a wide range of periodontal services, including treatment for gum disease and recession, from his state-of-the-art practice. To learn more about periodontal therapy or to schedule an appointment with your periodontist in Belmont, do not hesitate to get in touch with Dr. Schrott and his team at (617) 484 9240.