In our later years, we experience different oral health issues than we had when we were younger. Knowing how and why to take care of your teeth throughout your life, and especially as you age, can help you avoid painful dental procedures down the road. These are three of the most common oral health issues that seniors face:
Cavities are a major concern for older adults, not just children. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92% of seniors 65+ years have dental cavities in their permanent teeth. Seniors should be especially aware of any cavities forming and having them treated early to avoid more serious dental procedures.
Periodontitis and gingivitis, or gum diseases, are common among seniors who may have more advanced stages of the diseases. Gum disease in an infection of the gums and the surrounding tissue. It can make eating painful and cause other problems in the mouth.
Proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits can prevent gum disease. Many seniors may have trouble brushing and flossing due to limited mobility or dexterity, and should consult their dentist for other options in order to properly clean teeth.
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is common among seniors. One of the main causes of dry mouth in seniors is medications. Common medications like blood pressure medications, pain pills, diuretics, decongestants, antihistamines and muscle relaxers are all known to cause dry mouth. Dry mouth reduces the flow of saliva, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. To counter dry mouth, drink a healthy amount of fluids each day and also limit caffeine and cigarette usage.
Have more questions about oral health issues within the senior population? Contact the professionals at DentaLux today!