From a young age, the importance of good oral health is made clear to us by parents and teachers. If we’ve followed this advice throughout our lives, then our teeth should be in pretty good shape by the time we reach our golden years. But problems like tooth loss and decay become much more prevalent at this age, so it’s important that we keep our oral health in mind at any age. Here are some of the key problems that are more common in seniors.
Xerostomia is a symptom that around 20% of elderly people report experiencing. It involves reduced saliva, leading to a dry mouth. Since saliva’s role is to clean our mouths by rinsing away bacteria, this can have a number of side effects, include bad breath and increased rate of tooth decay and cavities. Dry mouth can be caused by a number of different medications, treatments, and health conditions.
As mentioned above, dry mouth makes cavities much more prevalent in seniors since the mouth becomes less efficient at cleansing itself. This is why practicing oral hygiene is so important among seniors. Cavities can also become more common in seniors due to years of bad habits. A sugary diet might not cause major problems when we’re younger, but after decades of this kind of diet, the problems will start to escalate, resulting in more cavities and other problems.
The CDC states that around two-thirds of adults age 65 and over have gum disease. Like with other oral health concerns, gum disease can slowly develop over time, which is one reason why it’s more likely to cause problems when we’re older. The main cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene, but it can be made more likely by smoking and certain health conditions.
Since cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease are more common among the elderly, for the reasons described above, this makes tooth loss all the more common. Keeping up with regular dental check-ups will help to reduce your risk of tooth loss. Full or partial dentures can be a suitable solution if tooth loss does occur.
Since tooth loss is more common, it follows that more seniors are wearing dentures compared to younger adults. But this definitely isn’t where your oral hygiene routine ends. Dentures need cleaning and caring for just like your natural teeth, so it’s essential that you follow a proper care routine and see your dentist regularly to avoid common denture problems.
If you’re looking for affordable dentures or routine dental care to avoid the above problems, contact us for quality dental services in Clemmons, Lewisville, Mocksville, Winston Salem, Advance, and Bermuda Run.