Oral health and care are important throughout our entire lives. But, as we age, our needs may change. From looking after those baby teeth as children to keeping our adult teeth clean and healthy when we get older. Seniors are more susceptible to certain oral health concerns, so it’s important that you stay aware of these problems and how to maintain good oral health. Here are a few problems that are more common in seniors.
The condition of our teeth is likely to deteriorate over time, especially when proper oral care is neglected. So, it makes sense that tooth loss becomes more likely the older we get. Tooth loss may also be more prevalent among seniors because knowledge about the importance of oral hygiene was not as widespread 50-60 years ago as it is now, so they may not have got proper oral care as children and young adults.
Gum disease typically develops over many years. If warning signs aren’t caught early through regular dental visits, then these are more likely to develop into gum disease as we age. This is why it’s important to keep seeing your dentist regularly so that symptoms can be identified and treated before the problem worsens.
The same logic applies to cavities, which are also more prevalent among seniors. As well as neglecting oral care and consuming foods that are high in sugar, cavities can become a problem for seniors because of xerostomia, or dry mouth. Our mouths don’t produce as much saliva when they get older, so many seniors have problems with dry mouth. Without enough saliva there to wash away bacteria, cavities become more likely.
Another side effect of dry mouth is bad breath. This may be a natural consequence of aging, or it could be a sign of something more serious. Gum disease, cavities, and plaque build-up can also contribute to bad breath, so arrange a visit to your dentist to check for problems like these if you suffer from bad breath.
The more our teeth are exposed to things that stain them, like cigarettes, coffee, and tea, the more discolored they are going to become. So, tooth discoloration is likely to get worse when we get older. Avoid smoking and drinking too much coffee to reduce this effect and keep brushing regularly. You can also opt for teeth whitening if you want to reverse these effects.
It’s more important than ever to keep up with regular dental appointments when you get older. To keep your oral health in check and your smile shining bright, get in touch with Barabe for pain-free dentistry in Advance, NC.