Your oral health is important regardless of your age, but when you get older, it plays an even larger role in your overall well-being.

A recent national survey conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry discovered that 63% of baby boomers between the ages of 45 and 64 with one or more oral symptoms had no idea that those symptoms could be linked to more serious conditions and could actually be related to congestive heart failure, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s Disease. That failure to recognize a link between gum disease and more serious ailments could negatively affect overall health. Unless you practice good oral hygiene, that includes brushing, flossing, regular dental visits and a good healthy diet, your teeth, and gums could cause more serious health problems.

Considering all the chewing, biting, crunching and biting that occurs all day long, it is quite surprising that your teeth are so resilient, however, everyday wear and tear to your teeth over time could begin to take its toll.

One of the biggest threats that you have to contend with is acid erosion caused by starch and sugary foods. As those carbohydrates ferment, the bacteria in your mouth will produce acids, and it is those same acids, that will quickly harm the enamel on your teeth. Over time, tiny pits will begin to develop making you more susceptible to tooth decay.

Most people assume that it is sugary candy and sweets that are the worst offenders, but those carbonated sodas and sports drinks can be even worse because of the carbonation. It is best to avoid any carbonated sports and soft drinks and try to go easy on the sugary snacks and treats. Stick to water and chew sugarless gum as it helps to cleanse your mouth while neutralizing the acidity. Avoid snacking, which can cause the acid levels to remain high throughout the day and night.

Brush at least twice and floss once each day. Your daily dental health habits play a huge roll in your long term overall health. See your dentist regularly and schedule appointments every six months along with regular professional tooth cleaning treatments.

The function of your teeth is mostly mechanical. Your teeth are meant to mash and grind while breaking up food so that it can digest more easily. Teeth are the strongest part of your body, even more so than your bones, and are resistant to chips and cracks.

Contrary to what some believe, teeth do not become brittle as you age. People at any age can crack a tooth or break a crown or filling by biting on something hard like an unpopped kernel of popcorn an olive pit or even a piece of ice.

If you cannot remember the last time you saw your dentist, regardless of your age, schedule an appointment with your dentist today. 

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