Common senior dental health issues
Aging gracefully comes with its ups and downs. And dental health issues isn’t something that should fall to the wayside when ageing. It’s during this time that frequent visits to the dentist are imperative to keep you smiling, comfortable and pain-free. Visiting the dentist is a scary outing for the majority of us. It’s a scary outing that will keep the larger scares at bay. There is a number of risks that senior people need to factor in when taking care of their pearly whites.
Dental care starts at home, and by being vigilant, you can catch early warning signs of certain dental health issues that may arise.
Here is a list of common senior dental health issues to keep a lookout for:
Seniors who take certain medications for allergies, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and asthma etc. can suffer from dry mouth or xerostomia. Having dry mouth symptoms is a normal part of ageing, and it’s one of the leading causes of cavities in senior folk. It is something that can be prevented when mentioned early enough and also doing a bit of research on what side-effect the medication may cause.
When visiting your dentist, make sure to mention what types of medications you are taking so that he or she can determine what the culprits are.
Also Read This: Good Dental Habits to Embrace
Gum disease is caused by bacteria in plaque that irritates the gums. This causes redness, swelling and sometimes even bleeding. It is a relatively painless condition in the beginning which if left untreated can cause the gums to begin to pull away from the teeth. In its advanced form, it can actually lead to destroyed gums and bone. And in turn, it causes tooth loss.
The good news is that with regular check-ups at your dentist it can be treated as well as prevented.
Bad breath is something that anyone can have, but it is more prevalent in the older generation. Speak to your dentist about ways to combat unpleasant breath.
Poor denture care is another common senior problem. Without proper cleaning of the dentures, and around your gums, you’re in for a bad time.
Ill-fitting dentures is another problem that should be addressed if a patient isn’t happy and uncomfortable. This is something that is preventable, and with the correct applied knowledge by your dentist will not be a problem.
Regular visits to your dentist can sometimes be the difference between life and death. During your visit, the dentist will check for signs of oral cancer. Initially, oral cancer doesn’t cause any discomfort or pain, and your dentist will know when something doesn’t look right.
Years and years of eating and drinking stain-inducing beverages and food can cause teeth to darken over time. Another factor that contributes to the darkening of teeth is the outer layer of enamel thinning out revealing the yellow dentin underneath. Flossing, brushing and regular visits to your dentist is what it comes down to. Find someone you can build a long relationship with. The more they know about you the better. In the long term, this will help prevent any serious dental issues as well as treating any issues that you might have.
As we age, more and more small problems will show face, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. It just means more compassion for yourself and daily self-care.