Baby Boomers and Dental Healthcare
Every day, over 10,000 baby boomers celebrate their 65th birthday. By 2030, there will be 74 million adults over the age of 65. It is therefore more important than ever to expand on, improve, and talk about dental healthcare for older adults, which is exactly what Oral Health America did in its third comprehensive report which came out this year. The report noted that baby boomers differ greatly from their parents’ generation in terms of oral health in several ways.
Not Your Typical Generation
First, baby boomers are not only more likely to have their teeth for much longer than their parents did, they are also more interested in ways to have a brighter, better smile through whitening, alignment correcting, and more. Due to advances in medicine, people are also living much longer, as the Academy of General Dentistry’s Impact Magazine points out, making oral healthcare relevant and important for much longer. When seeking out options for cosmetic dentistry, however, it is important to keep in mind that your medications and other measures you may be taking to stay healthy can be affecting your oral health.
The Medication and Oral Health Link
Advances in medicine also means that many older patients are taking certain medications to help them live healthier, longer lives. Some of these medications may have consequences for oral health. The American Dental Association discusses the links between medication and cavities , and medications and dry mouth for patients over 60. “As we get older, we enter a second round of cavity prone years. One common cause of cavities in older adults is dry mouth. Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. However, it is a side-effect in more than 500 medications.” These include medications for asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pain, anxiety, and more.
Fortunately, there are options for dry mouth now, both in and out of the dental chair. These include Saliva Max, a a supersaturated calcium phosphate powder that when dissolved in water, creates a solution with a high concentration of electrolytes similar to that of natural saliva. The key is knowing that these symptoms exist so you can be ready to address them when they do arise.
Prolong Your Health with Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral exams at East Madison Dental also include an oral cancer screening as well as a mouth, throat and neck exam that looks for skin discolorations, lumps or bumps, swollen glands, and more, that could indicate a serious health issue. The American Dental Association has declared that “the mouth is a window into the health of the body.” Over the last decade, research into oral hygiene and dental problems has revealed many connections between problems in the mouth, and problems in the rest of the body.
Inflammation in the gums, for example, has been shown to weaken the body’s ability to control blood sugar and has been attributed to increased rates of diabetes. There is also a proven link between gum disease and heart disease. In addition, the mouth is the way our bodies receive nutrients, so if our gums are sore and swollen and our mouths hurt, we are less likely to eat healthy.
Finally, adults in their 40’s and 50’s should also be aware of increases in oral cancer diagnoses which has been linked to HPV. This is why oral cancer screenings are more important than ever in ensuring prolonged health, and the treatment of any problems early on.
How to Best Serve All Our Patients
Regardless of age, East Madison Dental prides itself on offering excellent customer service, and genuinely caring about our patients and their health, oral or otherwise. “We take a holistic approach to our patients’ care because physical, mental, and dental health are all related,” says Office Manager Daniel Tise. “From our admin staff to our assistants, hygienists, and doctors, we are all focused on providing a high quality experience where patients feel comfortable, informed, and in control of their treatment.”
In addition, the office is also prepared to handle any and all needs that our patients may have. A multi-specialty, state of the art office, East Madison Dental provides patients with the convenience of receiving a variety of procedures in one space–from root canals to oral surgery to crowns made in-house. The office is also ADA accessible.
We hope to continue to grow to meet any new and changing needs our patients may have. If there is a special request or concern that you have, please do not hesitate to let us know.