Common Senior Dental Problems
With age comes wisdom! And we know over the years we have become wiser about the importance of oral health care in active adults. As we age, we find it can be more challenging to brush our teeth, because of arthritis in our hands, or that we suffer from dry mouth due to side effects of certain medications. Here are five of the most common senior dental problems and how we can try to prevent or resolve them.
- Dry mouth:
A common occurrence in seniors who are treating other ailments, a side effect of many medications, is dry mouth. Saliva helps in removing food particles from your teeth, which can cause bacteria growth. But more importantly, saliva is like the bloodstream of your mouth. It helps maintain soft and hard tissues in your mouth. If you are suffering from a dry mouth, it helps to chew sugar-free gum, drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol and caffeine, and floss and use mouthwash regularly.
- Darkened teeth:
After years of eating and drinking stain-causing foods and beverages, it’s bound to take a toll on your tooth enamel. Try to cut back on coffee, soda and wine – some of the biggest staining culprits. Work on preventing further tooth enamel loss with some of these helpful tips here, Protecting Tooth Enamel. Consult with your dentist, as you may need to schedule more frequent visits for routine cleanings.
- Gum disease:
Caused by plaque build-up, gum disease is a serious infection that can lead to tooth loss, damaged gums, and even problems with your jaw bone. Often times a poor diet, tobacco use and ill-fitting dentures make matters worse. If you are experiencing red, swollen or bleeding gums, please schedule an appointment to talk with a dentist.
- Tooth loss:
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, often very common in active adults. Once you’ve gotten to the point of tooth loss, it’s imperative to take proper action to prevent additional damage to your gums. While dentures were once the most common solution for teeth replacement, there are now more permanent, effective options, like dental implants. Dental implants look and feel more like natural teeth. We offer free consultations and dental implant specials, call our office for more information!
- Denture-induced stomatitis:
If you have dentures, you will want to be aware of denture-induced stomatitis. It’s an inflammation in the underlying tissue of the dentures. We see this in seniors who have ill-fitting dentures and bad oral hygiene. If you have a sore mouth, trouble eating and/or talking, please consult with a dentist, as these can be signs of bigger problems.
Now, you may feel all the wiser from reading this article, but we are only smarter if we put our knowledge to good use. Oral health care is important to our overall health, which is why we feel it’s so important to continue educating our patients with these healthy tips. If you have any questions or concerns, please know our team is here to help. Contact our office for a free consultation, or second opinion.