The health and appearance of a person's smile is important no matter their age. Unfortunately, many people do not consider oral health a priority as they become older. Thankfully, help is available for senior citizens living with one or more conditions affecting their oral health. Here are a few common dental issues that affect senior citizens.
Tooth Decay/Gum Disease/Tooth Loss
Because dental care is so readily available and there are numerous innovations in dental technology today, the number of senior citizens experiencing partial or complete tooth loss has decreased since the 1970s. However, tooth loss is still a real issue that needs to be addressed.
On average, seniors over the age of 65 have 18.90 teeth remaining. And, an estimated 27.27 percent of seniors over 65 years of age have NO teeth remaining. This tooth loss is most likely due to the development and ineffective treatment of tooth decay and gum disease.
If you are a senior who has lost teeth or you have a senior loved one who is missing teeth, a complete dental evaluation is crucial. Dentists can offer tips for preventing further dental complications while offering restoration services that may include dentures or even implants depending on the patient's underlying oral health.
As a person ages, their body's chemistry changes. Therefore, certain changes in the body are normal, such as saggy, wrinkly skin. In addition, teeth that were white and brighter may start to dull and discolor. If you are a senior who has not taken great care of their teeth, you may have a more severe case of tooth discoloration and staining.
Even though you are older, you should still be concerned with the look of your smile. Again, help is available if you are experiencing tooth discoloration as a senior. Professional whitening treatments will remove any stubborn stains on the teeth, making them appear whiter and cleaner.
Many senior citizens where dentures after losing one or more teeth due to decay or gum disease. It is important to remember that caring for your oral health AND the dentures is imperative, though.
Brushing the dentures daily is key to avoid the buildup of food residue, plaque, and stains. Without proper care of both your teeth and your dentures, food and plaque on the dentures can irritate your natural teeth and gums, increasing your risk of decay and gum disease.
In addition, improper care could result in your dentures breaking or warping, preventing them from fitting in your mouth effectively. Talk to your dentist today if your dentures do not feel comfortable in the mouth. For more information, reach out to dental clinics like Cobbe Dental & Orthodontics.