Dental Problems in Seniors
People of all ages are at risk of developing dental problems if they don't adopt good dental hygiene habits at an early age. If plaque builds up on the teeth and along the gum line, the patient can develop cavities, gum disease, and other issues. If these problems are not treated in a timely manner, the condition can progress, and eventually patients will be at risk of losing their teeth. Cavities and gum disease are certainly conditions that commonly affect older adults that are in their senior years. There are also a number of other conditions that commonly affect seniors.
Most people that are in their senior years take medications to regulate their blood pressure, cholesterol, arthritis, or another condition. Unfortunately, many medications come with their own set of side effects, including dry mouth. Many adults develop dry mouth in their later years. Dry mouth can make it easier for plaque to build up on the teeth and lead to gum recession. To prevent or treat dry mouth, seniors should increase their water intake, rinse their mouth several times throughout the day, and avoid salty and dry foods.
Gum recession can be caused by dry mouth, the aging process, plaque build up, and brushing the teeth too aggressively. This condition can expose the root of the tooth and make the teeth more susceptible to cavities. It can also result in increased tooth sensitivity since the tooth root is left exposed. Patients can prevent gum recession by practicing good oral hygiene habits, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and rinsing the mouth out with water a few times a day.
Gum recession and worn down tooth enamel can lead to increased tooth sensitivity and pain. In some cases, patients feel pain while eating hot or cold foods, others feel it when brushing the teeth.