When we are younger, we are more susceptible to tooth sensitivity. Children are more prone to developing cavities, which leads to tooth decay, which leads to sensitive teeth. They also experience a higher amount of sensitivity as their adult teeth begin to replace their baby teeth.
This sensitivity and the manifestation of dental issues tends to diminish in adulthood, reoccurring again in elderly adults. This second phase of dental issues, however, is more serious and has the potential to be more detrimental to a senior’s health. This is why it is so important that oral care becomes even more of a priority later in life.
There are a few specific dental issues that elderly adults should be more cognizant of because of how common they are. These issues not only have a severe impact on one’s ability to eat and talk, they could even be the cause of a more serious underlying condition, including: Alzheimer’s, dementia, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
In seniors, dry mouth is responsible for a significant number of cavities. This condition is not naturally occurring, however, but is a side effect of more than 500 medications, most of which are taken for very common diseases and conditions.
Preventative tip: Be open with your dentist about the medication you are on so that they can assist you in finding relief so symptoms don’t worsen. Be sure to drink a lot of water, even if you aren’t thirsty, just to lubricate the inside of your mouth throughout the day – and avoid beverages or food that can aggravate your dry mouth.
Gum disease, or periodontitis, is caused by the bacteria found in plaque. If left untreated, gums recede away from the teeth, giving food and bacteria a place to collect. 23 percent of elderly adults ages 65-74 have been diagnosed with severe gum disease. Periodontitis is very common because it often goes untreated until it reaches a very advanced stage.
Preventative tip: Schedule regular visits with your dentist. If you are unable to travel to the dentist office due to physical limitations, Onsite Dentists Of Texas will bring the office to you!
When gums pull away from the teeth, it exposes their roots. When roots don’t have the necessary enamel to protect them from decay-causing acids, they slowly decay and begin to rot, potentially causing other health issues.
Preventative tip: Use mouth rinse or a prescription toothpaste to keep this condition from worsening. It’s important to keep in contact with your dentist concerning this issue because it may require a dental crown depending on the severity of the problem.
If you are an adult child of an elderly adult who is concerned that your loved one is not receiving the appropriate dental care, contact Onsite Dentists Of Texas for a consultation.