Published on July 17, 2018

Give your teeth the care they deserve

As you age, it’s important to give your mouth TLC.

Senior man smiling“That’s because your risk of cavities increases as you grow older,” says Donna Raziano, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Mercy Home Health and Mercy LIFE. One reason is dry mouth—a common side effect of many medications.

You’re also more likely to get gum disease. “In its early stages, your gums may bleed and be tender,” Dr. Raziano says. Left untreated, this infection can seriously harm your bones, gums and other tissues that support your teeth. You might even lose your teeth.

The good news: There’s a lot you can do to help keep your teeth and smile healthy.

  • See your dentist regularly—not just when you have a painful tooth. By the time a cavity hurts, it may be severe. Plus, regular visits can help your dentist find early signs of gum disease and oral cancer.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Floss daily too. 
  • Don’t smoke. It makes you more vulnerable to gum disease. 
  • Speak up if your mouth is dry. Your dentist can help ease the dryness.