Maintaining a healthy oral system is a challenge for most seniors. Aging exposes them to several dental challenges. However, one good thing is that these challenges can be easily managed with the help of a Brooklyn dentist. Due to the many visits to dental facilities by most aged individuals, discounted dental plans can significantly assist in reducing the cost of such visits.
Most seniors keep wondering why they develop cavities suddenly and other oral challenges that they have not experienced in previous years. These challenges may result from simple things such as forgetting to brush their teeth or complicated factors such as loss of motor skills and dementia.
Let us look at some of the common dental problems that seniors may experience today:
A dry mouth does not occur automatically, but as a result of certain medications used to treat anxiety, pain, high blood pressure, and many other diseases common among seniors. One role of saliva is to shield the teeth from erosion. When the mouth becomes too dry, teeth become prey to the acid found in food, resulting in decay and cavities.
A dry mouth may also result from decreased production of saliva, which occurs as people grow old. The absence of saliva causes acid and sugar to build up in the mouth. It also results in a swollen tongue as well as cracked lips.
Seniors must inform a reliable Brooklyn dentist about any medications they are using in case they suffer from a dry mouth. The dentist will recommend certain dental routines that prevent decay and cavities, such as taking a lot of water and avoiding certain sugary foods.
Gum or Periodontal Disease
Another serious dental condition experienced by seniors is gum disease. This is a bacterial disease that affects patients with natural teeth, including those who have dentures. Inflammation of gums is quite risky since it can spread to other parts of the body.
The main symptom of gum illness is swollen, red, and irritated gums. The disease is rampant in seniors because the symptoms may go unnoticed until it is too late. If the illness remains untreated, the gums may start pulling off the teeth. Eventually, the teeth start falling off. As a result, the patient may become unable to chew or swallow food properly. Regularly going for checkup helps treat the disease or prevent them entirely.
Decay occurs as a result of poor oral hygiene. Taking food that is rich in sugary foods is also a cause of tooth decay. Some medical complications such as dementia and arthritis make it difficult to brush teeth, causing a buildup of plaque and decay. Tooth decay may cause infection, pain, or the loss of teeth.
The remedy of tooth decay is prevention. Dentists recommend brushing at least two times per day, fluoride toothpaste, and increasing water intake besides avoiding sugary meals.
Decay of the tooth roots, on the other hand, can be treated through tooth extraction or a root canal. Many seniors opt to live with the pain because they cannot afford such costs due to the high costs of a root canal. Having discounted dental plans can help address any dental issues faced by these seniors.
Oral cancer is also a common concern among seniors. Regularly visiting a dental clinic can help discover the disease before it advances. Some of the symptoms that seniors need to look for include red or whitish marks in the mouth, open sores, and discoloration of the lips, tongue, or mouth lining.
Smokers and those who drink alcohol are often at a higher risk of contracting oral cancer. A dentist needs to check out any mouth sores and ulcers to rule out the possibility of cancer.
Ignoring any tooth sensitivity as well as not practicing proper hygiene can result in tooth loss in seniors. Studies show that the number of missing teeth increases with age because any loss of teeth after childhood does not regrow. Although artificial teeth can play the same role as natural teeth, the challenges associated with such teeth may be inconvenient.
The Brooklyn dentist may also advise elderly patients to avoid certain foods if they have sensitive or missing teeth, dental pain and any other problem. If you or your loved one is suffering from any of the issues mentioned above, you should consult a dental specialist, especially if the problem is affecting your overall wellbeing.