People over 50 are advised to monitor their blood pressure and get their cholesterol checked. They’re told that screenings for cancer, diabetes, bone density, skin health, and, of course, sight and hearing are important. As a dentist to many Baby Boomers, I want to tell you, oral health screenings are just as important as we age. Here’s why…
What’s the main reason that adults lose teeth in our nation? Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. An estimated 80% of Americans have gum disease, and the condition is associated with risk of stroke, heart attack, respiratory disease, diabetes complications, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, osteoporosis, and more. Experts believe that the infection and inflammation caused by gum disease can enter the blood stream, thus the whole-health connection.
Regular, six-month checkups allow me to screen my patients for tooth decay, or cavities. The bigger problem is, tooth decay won’t heal naturally. Without a filling, it can grown and worsen until the interior canal of a tooth becomes infected. When this happens, the only options are a root canal or tooth extraction. Tooth decay also causes bad breath and pain – two things I’m sure you could live without!
You’ve probably heard about Michael Douglas’ recent battle with oral cancer. It’s not rare. About 37,000 people will get oral cancer this year and 8000 will die. The disease will claim the life of one person every hour, 24 hours a day, all year long. Using tobacco and alcohol increase the risk for oral cancer, but the truth is, it can affect any one at any time. Finding and treating the disease early has proven to give victims an 80-90% survival rate. For more information, visit www.oralcancerfoundation.org.
At James Stewart, DDS, PC in Livonia, MI, I provide comprehensive preventive and restorative dental care to many senior citizens. With regular dental care and daily oral hygiene, you’ll increase your potential for keeping more of your natural teeth longer in life. You might keep them forever. But, if you have suffered from oral diseases and need complex dental care, I’d like to help you reclaim optimal oral health and a beautiful smile. Call my Livonia dental office today at 734-425-4400 to schedule a consultation. I look forward to meeting you.