Oral Health Problems That Seniors Face

Oral health problems keep on piling up while aging. Some of those problems are worth mentioning here.

Darkened teeth

With aging, the teeth get darkened. This is due to the changes happening in dentin which is the bone-like layer beneath the tooth enamel. The darkening effect also appears due to lifetime usage of staining foods and beverages. Furthermore, the tooth enamel gets thinned over the years.

Dry mouth

We all know how irritating and frustrating the dry mouth can be. This is the condition which seniors face consistently. It happens due to lack of saliva flow in the mouth. The major reasons for dry mouth include certain medications and health conditions. Diseases such as diabetes and Sjögren's syndrome are major reasons for dry mouth. Radiation treatment in the head and neck area can dry up the mouth by disabling salivary glands.

Loss of sense of taste

Senses are based on nervous responses. With aging, these systems start to lose functionality. One such important function is the sense of taste. Aged people lose this sense due to aging, use of dentures and certain medical conditions.

Root decay

The pulling of gums from the teeth is one of the reasons for the tooth’s root decay. When the gums are pulled, the vulnerable part of the teeth shows up. This vulnerable part can get infected pretty easily. The gums can recede with aging and then the other problems start happening.

Gum disease

The lack of proper blood flow in the gums can lead to gums’ vulnerability against bacterial infection. Hence, the gum disease is the certain outcome in this regard. Other factors include poor fitting of bridges, use of tobacco, dentures, poor diet, and a lot of other health conditions which weaken the immune system.

One thing worth mentioning here is that age itself is not the health condition. Rather, it is the stage at which the immune system loses functionality at great extent. Due to this malfunctioning, other conditions tend to take over the control of the body. If the oral and overall health is taken care of properly, the health conditions which normally tend to happen in the senior people can be largely avoided.

Oral health tips for senior people

When it comes to taking care of oral health, the first thing to be taken into consideration is that avoidance of dental plaque. If the plaque is not prevented, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease; a point from where things might start seeming irreversible.

There are a few ways the senior people can prevent oral health conditions from happening. Some of those things include:

  • Brushing teeth twice in every day.
  • Flossing
  • Using a high quality mouthwash

Apart from that, visiting the dentist after every 6 months is really very important. During these dental visits, the dentist will do proper analysis of the teeth and do necessary cleaning.