When we think of a cavity risk, our minds automatically shift to children eating candy and not brushing their teeth. We hit a stage of low risk as young adults and start to think that our teeth are invincible from decay. You might rest in that comfort for a while, but you will soon discover that you are far from safe from cavities. In fact, one of the most at-risk ages for cavities takes place much later in life: retirement age.
Older adults might be shocked to discover an influx in decay, but it is directly related to dry mouth symptoms. When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, bacteria is not rinsed away and has more of an opportunity to cause decay. The dry mouth symptoms are usually connected to prescription medications, which older adults begin taking around retirement age.
Protecting Yourself from Decay
In order to protect yourself from this influx of decay, you need to do work to stop the dry mouth symptoms. You can talk with your doctor about switching your prescriptions and work to increase your body’s hydration level. Drinking primarily water throughout the day, sleeping with a humidifier, and chewing sugar-free gum are all ways to increase saliva production. You can also set up an appointment for an exam where we can check to make sure that there aren’t any underlying problems.
There is no magic age when cavities are no longer a problem, but there are definite ages where the risk is higher. Know your risk and do what you can to protect your smile from decay, no matter what your age. Contact us today to set up an appointment where we can discuss these things with you! We would love to see you soon.