Dental health is very significant for every person regardless of their age. When you have dental problems it has an impact on your whole body and your overall health can decline. Thus it is essential to take care of your teeth well and to know what the common dental problems in older adults are to avoid them. Bad dental hygiene causes many unpleasant situations, so make sure you know all the symptoms and what the proper treatment for each is. Here are the most common problems seniors face after they turn 60.
Have you ever had cracked lips due to increased dryness of the mouth? Perhaps you had a swollen tongue which caused problems while talking and swallowing food. All these problems come from reduced saliva production in your mouth. The Latin name of the syndrome is xerostomia and refers to dry mouth. Xerostomia is usually a side effect of medications the elderly take. Carefully check the list of all the side effects of the medicines you are taking, and make sure you drink enough water every day. Also, avoid processed sugar, which means fewer sweets and soda drinks.
Everyone knows that all of us should brush our teeth at least twice a day. However, with arthritis or Alzheimer’s, doing this simple task can become problematic. Brushing your teeth less than recommended can cause tooth decay. This can lead to severe pain, infection, and tooth loss at the end. More sugar and acid in the mouth contributes to the development of tooth decay. Dry mouth can also be one of the reasons. Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems in older adults and prevention is everything. Pay attention to your diet, drink plenty of water, and the most important thing, brush your teeth at least twice a day.
Do you have red and irritated gums that bleed almost every time you brush your teeth? Then there is a good chance you have a periodontal disease, also called gum disease. If you have severe problems with your gums, visit your dentist as soon as possible to get treatment. However, if your gums are still fine and you are paying attention to your teeth, then you will be relieved to know that gum disease is preventable. Brushing your teeth regularly and flossing them should save you from the problems gum disease causes.
Gum disease can also cause further problems, such as gum recession. Gum recession is a process when the gums shrink. Like gum disease, it can also be caused by bad dental hygiene and smoking. Genes play a significant role, too. You can significantly decrease the chances of gum recession if you take care of your dental health. Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do, along with avoiding food with processed sugar. Once your gums start to recede, the best thing would be to visit a dentist.
Perhaps the worst dental problem is oral cancer. Smoking and drinking alcohol increase the risk of getting cancer. Also, the risk increases as people age. The older a person is, the higher the chance of getting oral cancer. If you visit a dentist regularly, ask if there are any color changes in your mouth. When the cancer is identified early, there are higher chances of healing it.
These are some common dental problems of the elderly. To avoid them, the most important thing is to brush your teeth regularly and to visit a dentist every once in a while. Also remember that quitting smoking and drinking alcohol may significantly decrease your chances of having these problems.
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