If you’re of a certain age, your mouth may be doing things you never thought it would, like telling people to meet you at 4:30 p.m. for dinner, asking family members to repeat themselves and… getting more cavities. What’s that? Cavities?! What many people don’t realize is that, although you might think that by this time of life, you should have the oral health thing down, age has a way of undermining your best efforts. Here are a few common complaints among seniors:
Like we said, tooth decay isn’t just a concern for the littlest patients. In fact, it’s a common disease for patients older than 65. That’s because the risk of tooth decay actually increases among older adults, because they just don’t see the dentist as often as they used to. Undetected tooth decay leads to cavities (and worse). Bottom line? Enjoy your golden years, but make sure you pause to see the dentist now and then.
Like cavities, gum disease can be an issue among seniors who don’t see a dentist as often as they should. Add to this the fact that gum disease typically worsens as people age, and you’ll understand why it’s an issue for seniors. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to inflammation, gingivitis, periodontitis and even tooth loss. To combat it, make sure you’re getting regular, professional cleanings from your dentist’s hygienist.
If you’re over 65 and experiencing dry mouth, you’re not alone; just about 20 percent of seniors do too. This is usually due to the side effects of medications like antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure regulators, diuretics, pain pills and antidepressants. Since saliva plays a big role in combatting tooth decay, talk to your dentist if you experience dry mouth.
Your love of feed may note wane as you age, but sometimes, your ability to chew can. Chewing problems can stem from missing teeth, tooth pain, ill-fitting dentures or infection. If you have any problems chewing, see your dentist. He can help you diagnose the problem and recommend a treatment plan that works for you.
Make sure you’re enjoying every minute of your golden years. If you’re experiencing any of these problems – or know a loved one who is – give us a call today.