Geriatric patients can encounter various medical conditions. Unfortunately, those conditions can effect their their oral health.
Senior Oral health can become an issue when they’re on multiple prescription drugs with multiple 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 are facing.
1. Decay and cavities
Tooth decay doesn’t only happen to children consuming too much sugar, it also occurs for people in their age of 65 to 80 also. In fact, 92 percent of seniors have blatant cavities.
One of the reasons is due to lack of preventetive dental hygeine, or visiting their dentist for preventative dental care such as examination and periodontal gum maintenance. As a result, cavities can go undetected and untreated.
For that reason, it’s important for seniors to keep their regular check up appointment, which can range 3 or 4 times a year to avoid 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 being able to do the trick, but the individual must consult and have the necessary treatment done by his or her dentist before the sensitivity transforms to nerve infection and possibly need for 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 proper treatment done immediately.
Also known as dry mouth, xerostomia is another common issue for most seniors. This can happen as the result of taking multiple medications for chronic illnesses. Pain pills, decongestants, hypertension medicines and anti-depressants are just few of the medicines that can reduce saliva flow, which protects and can prevents tooth decay. Dry mouth causes periodontal gum disease, loss of bone, decay, and bad breath or halitosis. Caffeine or alcohol can exacerbate the xerostomia. It is best to consult your dentist if you feel you are experiencing dry mouth.
4. Periodontal disease
Gum disease is prevalent amongst 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 loss of bone and the supporting gum structure.
The stage of periodontal disease must be diagnosed first by your dentist, since there are specific treatments needed depending on the severity of the periodontal disease whether you are at early, moderate or advanced periodontist. This can be alleviated through proper visits to your dentist for the 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 they can 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 3 decades with emphasis on preventative and total health care. Contact Dr Mobasser today at 310-550-0383 for any of your oral heal issues.