Posted on: 13 January 2021
It is common knowledge that the elderly are at risk of certain health conditions, like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Some, however, may not be aware that seniors also have a higher risk of developing oral health issues than their younger counterparts.
Here are a few common issues dentists treat in seniors.
Although gum disease can affect adults of all ages, dentists seem to diagnose it more frequently in elderly people. Seniors may have poor-fitting dentures, poor diets or certain illnesses that can increase the risk of gum disease. Early signs of gum disease include red and puffy gums and bleeding while you brush. It is important to treat gum disease promptly before it leads to tooth loss and other issues.
Many seniors have to take one or more medications every day. Unfortunately, some medications can cause dry mouth. If your mouth stops producing adequate saliva, you have a higher risk of tooth decay. Your dentist can recommend treatments for dry mouth, such as artificial saliva or sugar-free gum.
Children are not the only ones who are at risk of cavities. Tooth decay is also quite common among the elderly. Seniors with arthritis or mobility issues, in particular, may have trouble brushing their teeth regularly and going to the dentist on a frequent basis.
The older you become, the higher chance you have of developing oral cancer. Your risk increases even more if you have a history of smoking or drinking alcohol. The good news is that oral cancer is very treatable if it's found early. Therefore, you should get an oral cancer screening at the dentist's office every year.
As you age, it is normal for your teeth to darken. While this issue might not seem as big of a deal as other oral health issues, it can still make you feel self-conscious. In addition to avoiding dark-colored foods and beverages, talk to your dentist about getting a professional whitening treatment. He or she can apply a bleaching solution to your teeth, making them look whiter and brighter.
As you can see, seniors can experience a wide range of oral health issues. However, that does not mean you are doomed to have bad dental health. If you brush and floss every day and see your dentist twice a year for checkups, you can achieve good dental health.
To learn more, contact a resource like Universal Dental Center.Share