Common Oral Health Issues for Seniors

Common Oral Health Issues for Seniors

As we get older, virtually every aspect of our health becomes more challenging, including oral health. If you have done everything by the book and have had perfectly healthy teeth, senior years can create oral health problems. In many cases, this has nothing at all to do with your own oral health regimen, but side effects from other illnesses or medications being taken.

As a senior, there are some common oral health issues to be aware of:

Cavities and Decay – for seniors, the decay on the root surface of the teeth can sometimes happen very rapidly, which makes it imperative to brush with fluoride toothpaste as well as using a fluoride mouthwash.

Overly Sensitive – as we get older, our gums start to naturally recede. In many cases, gum problems are actually the cause of tooth sensitivity. As the gums recede, portions of the tooth not protected by enamel are then exposed, making your teeth more sensitive to things such as cold and hot drinks, cold air, and sweeter foods. There are now specialty kinds of toothpaste to address this issue, but you may also want to bring it up with your dentist during your next visit.

Dry Mouth – this is a very common condition for seniors due to the side effects of the many medications used as we get older. This is nothing to take lightly, however, as dry mouth can create significant oral health problems if gone unchecked. If you are experiencing dry mouth on a regular basis, we strongly recommend visiting your dentist to diagnose the condition as well as offering a plan of attack to address the issue.

Impact of Other Health Issues – seniors suffering from health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease will often also experience oral health problems. If you have been diagnosed with any of these issues, make sure your dentist is aware of them.

Some other things that can contribute to oral health problems for seniors, as well as younger adults, are poor oral hygiene habits, stress, smoking, and poor diet.

It is extremely important to realize even if you are suffering from gum problems, as long as this condition is caught early enough, it can be reversed. So, if you are experiencing bleeding gums, dry mouth, or starting to notice your teeth are overly sensitive, make a dental appointment immediately so your dentist can address the situation and get your oral health program back on track.

Are you in need of a Gahanna, OH dentist? Sampson Dental Group is now accepting new patients. To make an appointment or to learn more about our dental services, please contact us today!

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