Oral Health Care and the “Silver Tsunami”

Have you ever heard of the Silver Tsunami? The Silver Tsunami refers to the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, one of the largest demographics in the US. 76.4 million Americans are Baby Boomers. That’s about 25% of the US population; in Kennewick, WA, Baby Boomers constitute about 10% of the local population.

With so many people entering their “golden years”, it’s important that we in the dental profession get the word out on how getting older affects your oral health. If you’re in this group, you’ll be interested to read this post.

What Will Happen to My Teeth as I Get Older? 

Aging can bring with it a lot of advantages, but it also brings a lot of changes, too. From an oral health perspective, there are some things you can look out for as you get older. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Discoloration or darkening of the teeth: 

As you age, your teeth may change color dramatically. This is because the dentin (the hard substance below the enamel) undergoes changes in its biology. This alone can cause your teeth to lose their whiteness. However, you didn’t get this old by not eating or drinking anything! Years of consuming things like coffee, tea, red wine, and cigarettes also contribute to the darkening of the teeth.

What Can be done about it? 

At Marineland dental care, we offer a number of procedures that can help put the white back in your smile. Just because you’re retiring doesn’t mean your appearance is any less important than it was on the first day on the job! Depending upon your need, your dentist may recommend:

Porcelain or Composite Veneers

Tooth Bonding (the application of resin, a type of plastic, on to the surface of the teeth to cover up stains and other signs of wear and tear)

If you have fillings in place, it might be time to have them checked. Fillings can wear out, and when they do, they need to be replaced. Otherwise, you risk further tooth decay and worsened oral health. Your dentist can replace old fillings with tooth colored filling material that blends in seamlessly with the rest of your teeth to add a youthful, healthy look to your smile.

Gum Disease:

Gum disease is a serious problem for seniors. According to the American Association of Periodontology, the likelihood that you will develop gum disease jumps to 70% once you reach the age of 65. Gum disease can lead to destruction of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. If left unaddressed, you risk tooth loss or extraction.

What can be done about it? 

Marineland Dental Care understands the severity of the national gum disease problem, which is why we offer comprehensive, preventive care for periodontal (gum) disease. In addition to cleanings and treatment in our office, we’ll give you guidance specifically for you regarding oral hygiene maintenance and nutrition (to help your body defend itself from the bacteria that cause gum disease).

Tooth Loss: 

The leading cause of tooth loss is gum disease, but tooth loss of any kind needs to be addressed. Lost teeth aren’t only unattractive, they can negatively impact your appearance and change the shape of your face. It will eventually effect your bite (occlusion), which can cause discomfort during chewing.

What can be done about it? 

Implants are an increasingly popular solution for tooth loss. An implant is a permanent solution, and generally they have two key parts: an anchor and a crown. The anchor is the actual implant; it is placed where it is needed. After several months, the bone under your gums will actually grow around and merge with the implant, holding it in place. The crown is made of porcelain, making it completely indistinguishable from the rest of your teeth. We offer a few different kinds of implant:

Dental Implants

Mini Dental Implants

Dentures with Implants

Your dentist will help you determine which implant solution is right for you!

What Can I Do? 

As always, stick to a good dental hygiene routine: make sure to brush, floss, and rinse with antibacterial mouthwash at least twice a day. In addition, you’ll need to pay greater attention to how your teeth are changing as you get older. Make sure to note any problems or serious changes and report them to your dentist, who you should be seeing at least twice a year. 

Just Because You’re Getting Older Doesn’t Mean You Have to Lose Your Smile! 

Call us now, we’re here to help! Dial 509-591-0515, or use our handy online appointment form

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