What Special Oral Health Issues Should I Know About as a Senior?
Brushing and flossing your teeth meticulously everyday does not make you immune to oral health problems that come with age. General health conditions, medications, and the dreaded wearing of dentures are just some of the many issues that seniors face when it comes to their general and oral health.
The condition of your senior teeth is a strong reflection of how well you have taken care of or ignored your teeth when you were young. Naturally, a person with good oral hygiene habits has teeth and gums that respond well to the challenges of aging. However, everyday brushing, flossing, and meticulous teeth and gum care do not necessarily prevent certain conditions that come as you get older, such as receding gums and reduced saliva production. Teeth darkening also comes with age, as well as weakening of the tooth’s natural structure, making it more brittle and more prone to breaking down.
Most adults manage to keep their natural set of teeth intact all their lives. However, reduced production of saliva means less fluid to wash away the bacteria that breed in the mouth, making your teeth and gums a little bit more vulnerable to infection and decay. Dentures and dental implants can be considered if you have lost most of your natural teeth through the years. Having a dry mouth also has other implications like difficulty in swallowing, speaking, and tasting. Adults in their senior years are also more prone to developing oral cancers, which is why it is important to go for regular check-ups and cleanings.
Dentures may take a lot of getting used to, but they are much better than keeping to a soft diet the rest of your life. In fact, today’s dentures are more comfortable and natural looking than ever.
As you age, you are more prone to different health conditions and some of these impact not only your general health but your oral health as well. Some of the most common diseases that affect your dental health include diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. While these health problems may directly or indirectly affect your oral health, some dental problems also become more prevalent as you age. This includes gum diseases, tooth decay, and sensitivity, which is often caused by receded gums.