Geriatric patients can encounter various medical conditions, and unfortunately, those conditions can affect their oral health.
Senior Oral health can become an issue when they’re on multiple prescription drugs with numerous side effects and possibly experiencing neurological problems as they may find it difficult to brush or floss effectively as they used to.
Listed below are five of the most common oral health issues seniors face.
1. Decay and cavities
Tooth decay doesn’t only happen to children consuming too much sugar; it also occurs in people aged 65 to 80. Ninety-two percent of seniors have blatant cavities.
One of the reasons is a lack of preventative dental hygiene or visiting their dentist for preventive dental care such as examination and periodontal gum maintenance. As a result, cavities can go undetected and untreated.
For that reason, seniors need to keep their regular check-up appointment, which can range 3 or 4 times a year, to avoid the decay of the tooth or root structure.
2. Increase teeth sensitivity
Gums naturally recede over time for anybody. As a result, the root is exposed and is no longer protected by enamel; hence the softer root structure is prone to pain and sensitivity.
Although on TV, anti-sensitivity toothpaste is advertised as able to do the trick. Still, the individual must consult and have the necessary treatment done by their dentist before the sensitivity transforms into nerve infection and possibly need a root canal or an extraction. It is best to see your dentist for any sensitivity to find out the root cause of the dental problem and have the proper treatment done immediately.
Also known as dry mouth, xerostomia is another common issue for seniors. This can happen as a result of taking multiple medications for chronic illnesses. Pain pills, decongestants, hypertension medicines, and anti-depressants are just a few medicines that can reduce saliva flow, protecting and preventing tooth decay. A dry mouth causes periodontal gum disease, loss of bone, decay, and bad breath or halitosis. Caffeine or alcohol can exacerbate xerostomia. It is best to consult your dentist if you feel you are experiencing dry mouth.
4. Periodontal disease
Gum disease is prevalent among seniors. During its early stages, the disease is painless. But, in more advanced cases, it causes pain, and sore gums, making chewing difficult due to the loss of bone and the supporting gum structure.
The stage of periodontal disease must be diagnosed first by your dentist since specific treatments are needed depending on the severity of the periodontal disease, whether you are at an early, moderate, or advanced periodontist. This can be alleviated through proper visits to your dentist for specific and necessary dental care.
5. Health conditions
Other health conditions can affect the overall dental health of seniors. Thus, it’s highly recommended that they visit their dentist as often as possible and let their dentists know about their health issues. This way, their dentist can provide the necessary dental care based on holistic dental care.
Dr. Anthony Mobasser has been treating seniors for their dental reconstruction and dental cosmetics needs for over three decades, emphasizing preventative and total health care. Contact Dr. Mobasser today at 310-550-0383 for any of your oral healing issues.
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