We're sure you brush and floss every day, right? As they say, "Ignore your teeth and they'll go away." It's important to practice good oral hygiene at any age. However, as you age, oral hygiene becomes more important than ever. Let's test your knowledge on oral care for the aging.
Flossing and brushing are great, but it's fluoride, in toothpaste or water, that helps prevent tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to plaque.
True. Oral hygiene can affect the entire body. Severe periodontal disease can lead to cardiovascular disease and increase complications from diabetes.
Dry mouth is caused by diseases like Sjögren's syndrome, certain drugs and medicines, and radiation treatment for cancer in the neck and head.
Failing to brush or floss properly leads to gum disease in three out of every four adults.
About 25 percent of adults above age 60 no longer have natural teeth. This can affect nutrition, as people with missing teeth tend to eat only soft foods.
Not having enough saliva in the mouth (or having dry mouth) increases the risk of oral disease because saliva helps wash away decay-causing bacteria.
False. People over the age of 40 are more likely to develop oral cancer. This can be any cancer of the mouth or throat.
The etymology of the word periodontal is "around the tooth."
One of the signs of gingivitis is red and swollen gums.
About one out of every three adults over age 65 suffers from dry mouth.
It's increasing simply because people are living longer and longer, and it's important that the elderly receive proper dental care.
Arthritis can make it difficult for people to hold a toothbrush properly and floss correctly.
True. As we age, the shape of our gums changes. If you wear dentures, this is why it's important to have them adjusted by a dentist regularly.
Medical professionals refer to "dry mouth" as xerostomia. This condition reduces saliva in the mouth, making teeth more prone to decay.
False. Good oral hygiene is important even if you have dentures. Food can become lodged in between teeth and irritate the gums or breed bacteria.
Sucking on hard candy helps the mouth form more saliva, which can alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth.
Periodontitis is the more formal name for gum disease. Left untreated, periodontitis may cost you your teeth.
Plaque is bacteria that grows in a film on your teeth. We all get plaque and should remove it by brushing and flossing daily, and visiting the dentist for cleanings.
False. Post-menopausal women experience estrogen loss, which leads to decreased bone density, making them more susceptible to periodontal disease.
Periodontitis affects the elderly more than the rest of the population -- about 20 percent of adults aged 65 to 74 have severe gum disease.