Oral Health Over 40

Middle Aged Couple Smiling

Common Problems in Mouths Over 40

Some oral health problems occur more frequently with age. Here, we list some of the most common and what can be done about them:

Dry Mouth

It’s one of the most common problems associated with the older mouth. First, make sure you are staying properly hydrated, especially if exercising or in high temperatures. Also, keep in mind that medications and certain medical disorders can reduce saliva flow. Once the cause is identified, mouth rinses and sugarless candies can stimulate saliva production.

Burning Mouth Syndrome

A burning sensation in your mouth with no apparent cause can be a symptom of several things. It is more prevalent post-menopause as the result of hormonal imbalance, and it can also be a sign of a vitamin deficiency, diabetes or anemia. Correcting one or all usually solves the problem.

Chronic Facial Pain

This common complaint of patients in their 40s and 50s is often caused by Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ): pain that accompanies eating, yawning or moving the jaw. It’s often treated with a bite splint and other corrective therapies.

Loss of smell and taste

Taste buds gradually fade with age. But taste and smell can fade fast from diabetes, or suddenly—as a result of stroke, Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease. And most complaints of “taste” problems have more to do with a diminished sense of smell. Enhancing food flavors with spices can help.

About Yuri Kaneda, DDS

Dr. Yuri Kaneda was born in Japan and immigrated to the US when she was 4 years old with her family. She lived in Ohio, Nebraska, and Illinois before finally settling in the San Diego area. A graduate of Bonita Vista High School, she went on to the University of California Berkeley where she obtained her Bachelors in Microbiology and Immunology. After working for 2 years in growth plate research at University of California San Diego, she went to the University of California San Francisco Dental School for her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Upon graduation, she returned to San Diego where she worked as an associate in the practice of Drs. Morimoto and Yaryan, her childhood dentist. She then started her own practice in 1995 and has been at her present location since 1999 which happens to be across the street from her high school!


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