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Navigating Oral Health Challenges in Seniors: Common Issues and Solutions

a senior man holding a tablet

You might have heard any dental care expert tell you that your oral health is the window to your overall health.

However, with age, it’s not uncommon for people to experience dental issues that could be related to other health conditions, such as diabetes and a weakened immune system.

 

This is when it is important to find out more about age-related dental problems and learn how proper dental care services can help you alleviate any senior oral health issues.

 

Why Oral Health Care is Important As You Age

 

dental services

 Poor oral health can have severe consequences, especially if you’re a senior. Several studies show that gingivitis or gum inflammation can increase the risk for a range of chronic health conditions, such as lung disease, strokes, blood vessel blockage, and heart disease.

 

Another study published in JAMDA: The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine revealed that seniors who had tooth loss from a gum disease had a 28% higher chance of developing dementia and a 50% higher chance of getting cognitive impairment.

 

Another reason why seniors are more susceptible to oral health conditions is the regular use of over-the-counter and prescription medication. Regular drug interactions and drug reactions can also make these individuals more vulnerable to dental conditions.

 

Common Dental Problems in Seniors

Here are some common oral health problems that seniors experience.

 

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a condition where the salivary glands in the mouth are unable to produce saliva. This can cause the individual to have bad breath, cracked lips, and a dry throat. Serious symptoms can involve mouth sores and tooth decay.

Health conditions that can cause dry mouth include diabetes, auto-immune disorders, cystic fibrosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

To combat dry mouth, it’s essential to stay hydrated and use saliva substitutes that stimulate saliva production.

 

Gum Problems

Receding gums are very common in seniors. This is a condition where the teeth might start to pull back from the teeth and make your gums look like they’re inflamed.

Some of the symptoms include:

· Loose teeth

· Swollen red gums

· Bad breath

· A bad taste in your mouth

To prevent gum disease, we recommend practicing good oral hygiene habits, like flossing regularly, brushing twice a day, and using fluoride toothpaste.

 

Dental Cavities

Dental cavities are caused by severe plaque buildup in the teeth. This can cause consistent pain and tooth sensitivity. While cavities start small, they can slowly become bigger and cause complete tooth decay. Symptoms include:

· A visible hole in the teeth

· Tooth sensitivity

· White or black stains on the teeth

· Tooth pain

Treatment options for cavities include crowns, tooth fillings, and root canals.

 

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, head over to First Avenue Dentistry today for professional dental services in St. Thomas, ON. Our team of well-trained and highly qualified dentists provides a wide range of services, including dental implants, emergency dental care, Wisdom Teeth Extraction St. Thomas ON, cosmetic dentistry treatments, and much more.

Contact us today to book your appointments.

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