Adopting healthy habits to maintain your oral health as you age

April is National Oral Health Month, a good time to check-in on your teeth and gums. Did you know that oral health is an important part of our overall health. Neglected oral health may lead to pain, discomfort, and even serious infection that could result in hospitalisation. Moreover, mobile or missing teeth, loose dentures or partials, and cavities can be a barrier to communicating and having a social life.

As we age, we have greater changes in our teeth and gums, which require more care rather than less. As well, older adults have greater challenges with:

  • missing teeth;

  • heavily restored teeth;

  • higher rates of gum/periodontal disease;

  • very high rates of root decay (relative to younger adults); and

  • higher rates of dry mouth often made worse by certain medications

There are many ways to maintain your oral health as you age by adopting healthy habits like daily brushing and flossing, regular dental check-ups, reducing consumption of sugary foods, and refraining from smoking. Learn more about maintaining your oral health as you age with our resources below.

Get the latest content first. Sign up for free weekly email alerts.
Author Details

DISCLAIMER: Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of these blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations such as social distancing and frequent hand washing. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with current social distancing recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website

Want the latest in aging research? Sign up for our email alerts.

Support for the Portal is largely provided by the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative. AGE-WELL is a contributing partner. Help us to continue to provide direct and easy access to evidence-based information on health and social conditions to help you stay healthy, active and engaged as you grow older. Donate Today.

© 2012 - 2020 McMaster University | 1280 Main Street West | Hamilton, Ontario L8S4L8 | +1 905-525-9140 | Terms Of Use