There are a number of oral health concerns that seniors should be aware of, including gum disease, bone loss, and oral cancer. Fortunately, many of these potential problems can be mitigated with proper oral hygiene and routine visits to your dentist for checkups and cleanings.
Following are some of the most common oral health issues affecting the senior population.
Although gum disease can affect people of all age groups, it is especially concerning for mature patients. Gum disease tends to coincide with other systemic conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. General health issues that impair a person’s immune system can also increase risks for gum disease.
In its earliest stages, gum disease is curable. If the condition progresses, however, it can lead to bone deterioration, tooth loss, and a host of other unwanted side effects.
The jaws are the foundation of the oral health system. When bone atrophy strikes, it can threaten the health of our teeth and impede oral function. The health of the jawbones can be affected by conditions like osteoporosis and gum disease. During routine checkups, our dentist will use X-rays to evaluate the health of the jaws.
While teeth are meant to last a lifetime, years of wear and tear or disease can take their toll. It’s a misconception that tooth loss just happens as we age. In fact, most tooth loss among seniors is preventable with proper preventive care and oral hygiene.
Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth is more than just an annoying symptom. Having persistent dry mouth can put you at higher risks for tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections. Unfortunately, dry mouth tends to disproportionately affect seniors because it typically coincides with many health issues or is caused by a number of common medications.
During routine checkups, our dentist will perform oral cancer screenings. Those who have a history of tobacco use, drinking, or have been exposed to HPV have higher risks for developing malignancies in their mouths.
For more information or to schedule a visit, contact our team at Fresh Leaf Dental today.