IN YOUR 60s...
...fix common problems
RISK Many medications – including bloodpressure pills and antidepressants – can cause a dry mouth, leading to difficulty chewing and swallowing. Less saliva means plaque collects.
SOLUTION Your dentist can prescribe a lubricating gel, which creates artificial saliva.
RISK Women in their sixties can have gum recession as a result of over-brushing, using a brush that’s too big and too hard, and thinning of the tissue from loss of oestrogen. The exposed root then causes sensitivity.
SOLUTION Your dentist can apply a liquid film of desensitiser, which lasts for six months. Use a desensitising toothpaste like Sensodyne and, when you finish rinsing, use your finger to rub paste into the exposed root.
RISK Since the root is just dentine with no protective enamel, it’s much softer and is more prone to cavities. If there is a deep cavity in an exposed root, decay occurs quickly.
SOLUTION Your dentist can apply fluoride varnish to strengthen an exposed root. If there is a deep root cavity, a filling can be used to build up the root. You can even have a gum-coloured filling to make it look like the gum is still there. It’s cosmetic, but makes the exposed root less sensitive.