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I’d like to point out a very interesting piece of information that emphasizes the importance of brushing and flossing in a rather dramatic way. While many studies have shown that gum disease can affect your general health, a University of Southern California twin study suggests that those who suffer from periodontal disease prior to age 35 may be four times more likely to get Alzheimer’s! The link appears to be the inflammatory nature of gum disease. When you consider that we are all living longer and that our aging population segment is growing every decade, that really got my attention.
As you know, for every Alzheimer’s patient there are many others affected. It brings with it the frustration of dementia, an escalating need for care, and it saddles families with long-term medical expenses. The emotional toll of Alzheimer’s on friends and family is impossible to calculate, so if you ever needed motivation to establish a proper routine of oral care, this would be it.
The good news is that gum disease is easily prevented and highly treatable. The rule of thumb is to brush your teeth twice daily and floss once – bedtime is a good time. If you’re lacking confidence in your technique or noticing some bleeding during your home care routines, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with us at Jones Bridge Dental Care for an exam and some assistance with improving your skills and selecting the type of toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste that is most suited for your needs.
The fact that we are living longer also increases the likelihood of encountering problems that challenge our one and only set of permanent adult teeth. In addition to gum disease and root cavities, these include chips, cracks, and fractures in addition to general wear and tear and staining.
Staining is normal and you can stay ahead of it by limiting food and beverages that you know are problematic like coffee, tea, juices, and wine and with regular thorough professional cleaning in addition to your home care routines. You can also opt for home or professional whitening procedures that are both fast and cost effective.
A combination of today’s more active lifestyle combined with thinning enamel and aging fillings and restorations also make your teeth very susceptible to chipping or cracking as you get older. Corrective options include crowns which can be used in numerous ways. The damaged tooth can be prepared to receive a new ceramic or porcelain restoration that looks, feels, and behaves like a real tooth, a bridge can be created by combining multiple crowns, and a crown can be attached to an artificial root or implant.
For restoring moderately damaged teeth, veneers can be created from the same enamel-colored bonding material we use to create white fillings. Porcelain veneers are another option. These wafer-thin ultra-durable restorations can be adhered directly to existing teeth with minimal alteration to the original surface. Veneers are natural looking, color-matched to existing teeth, and they can strengthen and brighten your smile by disguising stains for up to fifteen years with care.
Young or old, as you can see, maintaining a healthy mouth and a healthy body for your lifetime is really about paying attention – to home care, regular dental visits, and even something as simple as wearing a protective sports mouthguard.
And please remember that you can always feel free to ask us at Jones Bridge Dental Care about preserving your smile. Your calls are always welcome!