Senior Dental Health: Risk Factors & Things to Watch Out For

Dental treatments and other advancements in dentistry have made it possible for most of the elderly to keep most of their natural teeth for a very long time.

The services that your dentist does to prevent dental problems and repair teeth damage help you have better smiles in your golden years. Along with your efforts in regularly brushing and flossing your teeth, these treatments help you speak better, have the right bite and chew better. But all of these don’t mean that you are off the hook and can slack off on your dental health care. There are plenty of changes that come with old age, and with this, seniors are still at risk of dental problems and other oral conditions.

Here are the things that you need to be cautious about especially if you are over 50.

Why Seniors Be Orally Cautious

Xerostomia. This is another way of saying a common sensation that seniors usually experience. Xerostomia is the medical term of dry mouth. This doesn’t necessarily happen on seniors alone but is more likely to happen due to the changes in your saliva production when you get older. Saliva plays a vital role in keeping the ph balance in your mouth, washing away food and drink residue, and bacteria away from your mouth. Like mentioned earlier, anyone could experience this; but seniors and elderly are chronic dry mouth’s favorites which is why they are twice prone to tooth decay and gum diseases. Using a strong mouthwash and taking medications for other medical problems usually cause chronic dry mouth for seniors. You can always ask your dentist thru calling the 24 hour dental emergency hotline for ways to manage dry mouth and avoid its symptoms.

Periodontal disease. Seniors are at a higher risk for periodontal disease or gum diseases due to poor dental hygiene, smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages and eating an unhealthy diet. These contributing factors to gum disease have an accumulated effect as you get older. Your dentures and other dental appendages might also irritate your gums and cause infections in your gums. Your gum’s health is important because it has links to various general health conditions, such as heart disorder and gum disease. This means that seniors should be mindful of their habits and also prioritize their gums. Always seek your dentist’s advice and go for dental examinations for early detection of gum diseases.

Many seniors find it hard to take care of themselves because of the lack of tolerance to stress as well as limited mobility and dexterity. A lot of factors can put them at risk of different dental problems; but what matters is your family’s support as it could drive and encourage you to see the dentist regularly.

Always look out for signs and changes in your mouth that can potentially put you at risk for tooth decay and gum diseases. Early detection of dental problems and treating them help keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy.