Dental care into older age

22nd September 2022

As we get older, we face new challenges with our dental health. In general, people are living longer and so problems such as wear and tear, or progressive problems such as gum disease start to become more significant.

The good news is that with advances in toothpaste formulation and an increased awareness of how to care for our teeth, more of us are keeping our natural teeth for longer and enjoying many years of good dental health.

As we age there are some conditions to be aware of:

  • Natural wear and tear. Nothing lasts for ever – your fillings and crowns aren’t “permanent”. A typical filling should last for 10-15 years, though we regularly see patients who’ve had theirs for 30 plus years! They won’t last long if you don’t look after them though.
  • Diseases such as mouth cancer or thrush. Your dentist will be screening your mouth for oral cancer each time you attend for a health check.
  • Dry mouth. This condition is caused by the reduction in saliva flow as we age, often as a result of certain medications. If this is something you are experiencing, ask your doctor to consider alternative medication. In general, the more tablets and medicines you take each day, the greater the likelihood you will experience mouth dryness. Drinking plenty of water and chewing sugar free gum will help. Reduced saliva means a much higher risk of decay so it’s important to stay hydrated and keep your mouth moist.
  • Recession. Over time it’s quite normal for the roots of your teeth to become exposed. In most cases this won’t be a problem, but the roots are more susceptible to decay and exposed roots can also be more sensitive.

As ever, some simple step can help to reduce the chance of serious problems:

  • Brush with a fluoride-based toothpaste at least twice each day. If you are experiencing problems with decay and/or dry mouth, consider a higher-fluoride toothpaste such as Duraphat. Your dentist will be able to advise you on the best option.
  • Clean between your teeth every day with floss or interdental brushes.
  • Have regular health checks with your dentist and dental hygienist.


Adults with clean teeth
01423 503 428

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Coppice View Dental Care
104 Kings Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 5HH