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Senior Citizens And Dental Conditions: What To Know

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As you age, your dental needs can change. From medical conditions to dealing with missing teeth, the needs of the boomer generation and beyond are unique. Your dental care at age 60 is not the same as that of a 25 or 45-year-old. To learn about some common issues that tend to pop up among older dental patients, read on. 

Wear and tear on teeth

As people age, their teeth can become worn down from years of chewing and grinding. This can lead to increased sensitivity, cracks, and chips. Speak to your dentist about adjusting your diet and having more dental visits. A tiny hairline crack can be difficult for you to spot on your own.

Gum disease

Gum disease is a common problem that becomes more prevalent as people age. It can cause gum recession, and tooth loss, and even lead to systemic health problems if left untreated. For example, gum diseases can lead to abscesses, which are infections of the gums. In some cases, older people may be more prone to becoming seriously ill. 

Dry mouth

Many older adults experience dry mouth, which can be caused by medications or other health conditions. A dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease because saliva helps to wash away harmful bacteria. Your dentist can suggest rinses and chewing gums that may add moisture back to your mouth.

Tooth decay

Even with proper dental care, teeth can still decay with age. This can be due to a variety of factors, such as diet, genetics, and changes in oral health. You are never too old to lose a tooth to decay.

Root decay

Over time, the roots of your teeth can become exposed due to receding gums. This can lead to decay and sensitivity. 

Dental prosthetics

Many older adults have dental prosthetics, such as dentures or dental implants. Proper care and maintenance of these devices are important to prevent complications and ensure they last as long as possible. Ill-fitting dentures, for instance, can cause some to avoid eating properly. 

To combat these age-related dental issues, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and avoiding tobacco products can all help to promote good oral health.

To learn more about oral care, reach out to a local dental clinic.