While oral health is an important aspect of a senior’s general health and well-being, it’s one of the most overlooked areas among the elderly. To address this, seniors should regularly brush their teeth, floss, and eat a balanced diet.
But even if they can, there are some oral health issues seniors simply cannot avoid due to general health conditions and resulting medication. Fortunately, a family dentist may help you tackle these issues. In Mesa, AZ, a family dentistry clinic is very much within anyone’s reach.
Some of the common concerns among seniors include:
Research indicates that approximately 20% of seniors suffer from a dry mouth. The condition known as xerostomia happens when there is a reduction of saliva flow as a result of chronic illnesses and certain medications. A dry mouth can lead to tooth decay. To prevent this, it’s important to take more fluids and limit alcohol intake.
Studies suggest that seniors over the age of 65 are prone to dental caries, or cavities. This is because as seniors age, they make less time to go see their dentist. When bacterial activity goes undetected, dental caries easily develop, damaging the teeth. Thus it is essential for seniors to visit a dentist at least twice a year to prevent cavities.
Gum disease worsens as you age. Unfortunately, because gum disease is painless, seniors often ignore it. When it becomes severe, periodontal disease develops, making them experience sore gums and pain while chewing. Mainly caused by poor oral hygiene, gum disease is characterized by a plaque build-up which hardens to become tartar. Seniors will either suffer from gingivitis or periodontitis and a battery operated toothbrush may be recommended to help solve brushing issues.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25% of adults over 65 have no natural teeth. This is due to periodontal disease and cavities.
To break this trend and have seniors achieve healthy teeth and gums at the prime of their lives, a regular visit to the family dental clinic will provide the necessary care and guidance.