As you age, you become more susceptible to health disorders, including dental issues. Older people experience problems that interfere with their ability to observe proper oral hygiene. For instance, dementia might cause them to forget to brush their teeth. Painful limbs and joints, especially in the wrists and hands, can also make it challenging to take care of oral health.
Here are some of the common dental issues affecting seniors.
Your salivary glands produce less saliva as you become older. Some medications taken by the elderly also affect saliva production. As a result, dry mouth is a common dental issue among older folks.
A dry mouth makes consuming dry food such as bread and vegetables difficult. Over time, the condition becomes worse and makes swallowing difficult. This culminates in a loss of appetite.
The remedy to dry mouth is drinking warm water several times daily. Warm water makes swallowing food easier and ensures the body gets adequate nutrients for a healthy life.
Besides making food easier to swallow, saliva fights the oral bacteria that cause bad breath. A dry mouth increases the risk of developing bad breath. Although brushing can reduce the foul odour, it only works for a few months.
Poor cleaning of dentures also causes bad breath. In addition, unclean dentures cause inflammation of gum tissues, resulting in halitosis.
Bad breath drives caretakers away from the elderly who need help to perform most activities. As a result, affected individuals experience loneliness and challenges executing daily tasks.
Gum recession is typical among older people, especially smokers who grind teeth and don’t clean them. However, some individuals’ genes increase their vulnerability to the condition. If untreated, gum recession increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
The perfect way to prevent gum recession is to avoid causative factors and observe proper oral hygiene. Visiting a dentist for professional cleaning also reduces the risk of developing this dental issue.
Oral sores are arguably the worst dental issue that affects older people. Although age is a causative factor, smoking and drinking alcohol increases susceptibility to the condition. If untreated, these sores can develop into cancerous tissue.
If you develop persistent oral ulcers or experience a change in the colour of the skin around your teeth, go for a dental check-up. Remember that cancer is treatable if diagnosed early.
Tooth discolouration and decay are common among the elderly due to weakened enamel. Other factors that increase the risk of these issues include overconsumption of caffeinated beverages, smoking, and poor oral hygiene. In addition, tooth decay increases the risk of tooth loss.
Avoiding poor habits and observing proper hygiene are the most effective ways of preventing tooth decay. Visiting a dentist also reduces the risk of developing this problem.
Everybody desires to live a long, happy life. However, your overall health deteriorates as you age, making you more vulnerable to dental issues. The best you can do to protect yourself is to observe proper oral hygiene, avoid poor habits, and regularly visit the dentist.