People over the age of 65 are most at risk for dental problems. Poor dental care can lead to other health problems down the road. The rate of tooth decay increases for seniors, so it is very important to have regular dental checkups and be aware of potential dental problems. Here are a few of the most common dental problems for seniors and suggestions on how to fix or prevent them altogether.
Decayed and Missing Teeth
Missing a tooth is a more serious problem than you would think. This can cause damage to the surrounding teeth and can affect your speech as well as how you chew. Ignoring a missing tooth can cause your other teeth to move around, throwing your teeth out of whack. With the correct care, tooth decay can be prevented at any age. Some options for preventing or replacing missing teeth include:
RELATED: 8 Tips for Healthier Teeth
Older people usually produce less saliva which causes an increase in gum decay. Saliva is a natural mouth protector that fights bacteria and cleanses the mouth. While having a dry mouth is common for elderly people, there are ways to treat a dry mouth such as:
- Increasing daily liquid intake
- Avoiding dry and salty foods
- Purchasing special toothpaste or mouthwash
SEE: Dry Mouth At Night
It is common for your gums to recede as you age. Plaque that grows over time on your teeth can break down the enamel and cause gum disease. Gum disease develops slowly over time and may not show any symptoms or signs. This is not a problem that will go away on its own, it must be treated before it becomes serious. Ways to prevent or cure gum disease are as follows:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Brush twice a day
- Floss regularly
- Schedule frequent dental visits – at least twice a year!
No matter what age you are, it is vital to keep up with daily oral care. See your dentist at least twice a year and be aware of possible dental problems and how to prevent them. Make an appointment with Dr. Larry Duffield by contacting us at our Royal Oak office at 877-630-7410 and protect the beautiful smile that you have!