As you age, it is inevitable that your body will go through a significant amount of physical change. While many recognize that less energy, potential medical complications, and other ailments are more likely, most don’t put enough attention on their teeth and gum health.
Oral care is so detrimental in elderly adults because oral health is one of the first areas where complications start to arise due to deteriorating gums and decaying teeth. Making oral health a priority decreases how prematurely one needs to begin considering dentures. Dental care can also work to reduce other diseases including gum disease, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
However, not many elderly adults can communicate when they are experiencing dental issues. And their caretakers – whether it be their adult children or nursing home staff – simply don’t pay mind to oral health as much as they do other health concerns. It is important that you are properly educated to recognize the signs of potential dental problems in your aging parents so that you can be the voice they so desperately need in ensuring they are receiving the care that could help in sustaining their health.
The Signs Of Dental Issues In Aging Parents
It should be of no surprise that your aging parents will often complain of pain. Aches, pains, and overall discomfort are just a part of the aging process. But there are some specific signs that you can watch for in order to determine whether or not their complaints about their teeth are signs of a larger and more dangerous picture:
Complaints of pain or sensitivity.
We all experience moments of tooth pain or sensitivity. Be mindful every time your parent brings up any discomfort they are experiencing within their mouth. If you notice this is a reoccurring conversation you are having with them, or you notice that they are constantly touching their face, it could be a sign of a serious complication that is worth mentioning to their dentist.
Changes in appetite.
Have you noticed your elderly parent start to eat less of what they love? Or perhaps you have noticed that they chew and swallow food at a slower rate? They may not be aware of it, but this could be because there is a problem with their teeth. Elderly adults are more prone to experience decaying teeth or loose teeth, which makes it difficult to consume hard foods or foods that are too hot or too cold.
If you notice that your parent has unpleasant breath after they brush their teeth or use mouthwash, or you are noticing more severe bad breath every time you talk to them, this could signal a dental problem that needs addressed. Gum infections and decaying teeth are the main culprits for bad breath and are also notorious for spreading germs and diseases into the bloodstream.
If you notice any of these dental issues in your elderly parent, contact Onsite Dentists Of Texas. We provide exceptional dental care on site for patients who have difficulty traveling to a traditional dental office.