As a population, seniors have long been plagued by dental issues. Oftentimes, seniors’ oral health may deteriorate along with their teeth as they age. We will discuss some of the most common issues with seniors’ teeth.
The American Dental Association reports that dry mouth is the most common reason for cavities among seniors. Dry mouth is not a natural part of getting older; rather, it is a symptom of numerous medical conditions and the side effects of more than 500 medications, including those used to treat diabetes, stroke, oral thrush, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, and other autoimmune disorders. A dry mouth can be caused by a number of factors, including snoring and mouth breathing.
The average person’s prescribed medication intake tends to rise as they become older. This causes many elderly people to have problems with dry mouth. Your dentist may inquire as to whether or not you are taking any drugs for this reason. If you suffer from dry mouth, we can recommend therapies to alleviate the discomfort and decrease the likelihood of cavities. Here are popular practices recommended by dentists:
- Hydrate yourself more
- Substitute dry-mouth-preventing drugs wherever feasible
- Make use of a soothing mouth rinse
- To increase saliva flow, try chewing sugar-free gum
- Run a humidifier
- Use lip balm
- Take advantage of fluoride therapy
- Try to abstain from caffeine and liquor
- Do not use any tobacco products
- Keep away from OTC decongestants and antihistamines
- Cut back on the sweets and processed meals (These increase the risk of tooth decay)
- Stay away from alcoholic mouthwashes
LOSS OF TEETH AND THE PROCESS OF DECAY
Seniors need to take extra care of their oral health because they have a higher risk of dental decay. Cavities in seniors’ teeth typically occur around the gum line or even under it. Dry mouth makes the elderly particularly vulnerable. Tooth decay is quite common, so even if it may not have been an issue in the past it is important to practice good oral hygiene to reduce your risk. It is important to keep up with dental checkups. This enables us to check for the development of cavities and promptly fill them before they cause significant damage that necessitates more invasive measures, such as extraction.
Another prevalent oral health issue among the over-60 crowd is gum disease, often called periodontal disease. Plaque bacteria irritate gums, causing them to become inflamed, red, and bleed easily. Comparatively speaking, the early stages of gum disease seldom cause much discomfort. If left unchecked this condition may worsen over time.
Because gum disease is most effectively treated when discovered in its earliest stages, getting regular dental checkups as you age is just as crucial as it was when you were younger.
Most individuals grossly underestimate how prevalent oral cancer actually is. Each year, more than 54,000 cases of oral cancer are identified, according to the American Cancer Society. The majority of these cases are patients over the age of 60.
Oral cancer screenings are routinely performed on patients during dental checkups. In its early stages, oral cancer, like gum disease, seldom causes any discomfort. But it is essential to schedule and keep your dental appointments at Las Vegas Smile throughout your life, as early diagnosis can treat or eliminate any major issues.
OTHER DENTISTRY PROBLEMS
In addition to the aforementioned issues, the following are also frequently encountered by older citizens and their dentists
- Discolored teeth
- Lack of or diminished capacity for detecting flavors
- Infection of the roots
- Stomatitis caused by wearing dentures
- Misaligned jawbone
- Tooth decay