Seniors’ dental troubles are nothing new. Seniors’ teeth generally deteriorate as they become older, resulting in poor oral health. Here are some of the most frequent dental issues that affect elders.
Dry mouth is a primary cause of cavities in seniors, according to the American Dental Association. Dry mouth is a side effect of over 500 drugs, as well as certain health disorders like diabetes, stroke, yeast infection (thrush) in the mouth, cancer therapy, Alzheimer’s disease, or autoimmune diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome or HIV/AIDS. Dry mouth can also be caused by snoring or breathing through your mouth.
The quantity and amount of medications we take often rises as we become older. As a result, many elderly suffer from dry mouth. One of the reasons your dentist inquires about any medications you’re taking is because of this. We can recommend dry mouth remedies and treatments to assist relieve irritation and lower the risk of cavities. The following procedures are frequently recommended by dentists:
- Increase your water intake
- Switch to a drug that doesn’t induce dry mouth
- To encourage saliva production, use a moisturizing mouthwash and chew sugar-free gum
- Make use of a humidifier
- Lips should be moisturized
- Consider getting a fluoride treatment
- Coffee and alcohol should be avoided
- Tobacco should be avoided at all costs
- Antihistamines and decongestants sold over the counter should be avoided
- Sugary foods and candies should be avoided
- Mouthwashes containing alcohol should be avoided
Decay and Loss of Teeth
When it comes to cavities, just because you have a few gray hairs doesn’t mean you’re safe. Tooth decay among persons over 65 has now surpassed that of schoolchildren. In older adults, the most prevalent location for dental cavities is around the base of the tooth, along or beneath the gum line. Seniors who suffer from dry mouth are particularly vulnerable to this condition.
So, even if you’ve been fortunate enough to avoid dental decay for the majority of your life, no matter how clean your mouth is, you’re still at danger of tooth decay becoming an issue. Your dental hygiene cleaning appointments may be recommended to be more frequent than they have ever been. This allows us to keep a close check on things and correct any cavities that form while they’re still little, before they cause enough damage to necessitate expensive treatment or extraction.
Disease of The Gums
Gum disease, commonly known as periodontal disease, is a prevalent dental issue in people over 60. It’s caused by a bacteria present in plaque that irritates the gums, causing them to swell, redden, and bleed. Gum disease is unusual in that the early stages are quite painless. As a result, it is frequently neglected and mistreated.
Gum disease is best treated when identified early, so seeing your dentist on a regular basis in your senior years is just as vital as it was when you were younger.
Cancer of The Teeth
Most individuals are unaware that mouth cancer is significantly more common than they think. Oral cancer is identified in approximately 54,000 cases per year, according to the American Cancer Society. Adults over the age of 60 account for the vast majority of these cases.
Oral cancer screenings are frequently included in dental visits. Oral cancer, like gum disease, is usually painless in its early stages, making it simple to miss. Early detection, on the other hand, can save your life, thus it’s critical to see your dentist at every stage of life.
Other Dental Conditions
Other typical dental issues among the elderly include:
- Teeth discoloration
- Root degradation and reduced sense of taste
- Stomatitis caused by dentures
- Jaw bone that is uneven
- Loss of teeth
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