If you have the luxury of a healthy body and super strong teeth, passing through the golden phase of getting old can be an enjoyable ride.
Though people do take care of their physical & mental wellbeing, paying attention to dental health often gets ignored.
Many people believe that their teeth will eventually fall out after a certain age irrespective of following a good dental care regime. However, this is undoubtedly a misconception you should stop believing. With proper attention and oral hygiene, you can have healthy and strong teeth even when you are in the autumn of life.
Today, we have listed some common dental problems that bug the seniors along with important oral hygiene tips to keep dental issues at bay; have a look.
Over time, the continuous intake of certain food leads to changes in the bone-like tissue underlying your tooth enamel.
When the outer enamel layer gets thinner, this darker and yellower tissue, also known as dentin, begins to show through. This darkening is an intrinsic one and requires professional attention.
On the other hand, when enamel itself is stained, it is a type of extrinsic darkening that can easily be cured using regular brushing and flossing.
Poor dental hygiene, tobacco, old age, teeth injury, caffeine intake, and alcohol consumption are the leading factors behind tooth darkening.
A Diminished Sense of Taste
As you grow older, your sense of taste changes as the taste buds begin to decrease in numbers.
When one loses the sense of taste, sweet and salty sensations might be the first ones to leave. You might feel the urge of adding more salt and sugar in your diet which could expose yourself to deadly heart disease.
Though the exact cause behind the diminished sense of taste is not clear, a growing number of diseases, denture effects, and medication have been identified as some factors. One shall not ignore symptoms of taste loss by merely calling it a sign of aging and get an immediate professional consultation from our Goose Creek dentists.
When the roots under your teeth get exposed to decay-causing acids, the resulting problem is what we call Root Decay.
Roots can get exposed due to the reduction in gum tissues that lets the acids to seep through.
The roots require much more attention as it does not have the protective hard covering of enamel. The lack of covering makes them more vulnerable to cavities than the rest of the tooth.
Denture-related stomatitis occurs beneath a denture and causes mild inflammation and redness of the oral mucous membrane. It is quite common in elders and especially those wearing a complete upper denture.
Although dentures are essential, their prolonged usage can result in denture-related stomatitis. Dentists in Goose Creek often advise that dentures should be removed once a day for a few hours to keep the gums healthy.
Sometimes one might experience inflamed, red, and a bit swollen gums and ignore it. However, these are the initial symptoms of gum or periodontal disease. Such gum disease is caused by bacteria in the plaque and can get worse by the food left in the teeth.
Ignorance might also result in bleeding gums and painful sensations while eating anything hot or cold. In the advanced stages, it might even destroy the bone and ligaments, eventually resulting in tooth loss.
Are Dental Problems in Older Adults Preventable?
So, are there any preventive measures to keep the age-related dental problems away?
While it is true that some dental issues are inevitable, the effects can be minimized by following some precautionary steps. Let’s look at them.
1. Brush and Floss Often
Regardless of how old you are, brushing your teeth at least twice a day is advised to all.
Once you get older, your mouth requires some extra care as the plaque build up gets faster and challenging to get rid of. Regular brushing and flossing can help you fight plaque and reduce the chances of gum disease.
2. Use an Electric Toothbrush
An electric toothbrush is an excellent tool for your teeth in the later stages of life.
During old age, the teeth and gums become a bit sensitive, and they must be cleaned using ultra-soft bristles.
Since electric toothbrushes have an automatic rotation mechanism, there is no need to put extra effort into cleaning your teeth. They are gentle, safe to use, and are particularly helpful for seniors with arthritis.
However, changing them once they exceed their shelf life is quite essential for reaping the maximum benefits.
3. Use Mouthwash
Using a mouthwash once a day can protect your teeth against cavities and acids produced by plaque bacteria.
Consider getting a dentist consultation before using it if you have had a history of gum problems and fungal infections.
Mouthwash comes with different cures. Make sure you choose the one that fulfills your needs!
Caution: Avoid excess usage of mouthwash as it might disturb the pH balance in your mouth.
Watch for Side Effects of Medications
Medicines can cause your mouth to dry out and in turn, increase the chances of a plaque attack. The intake of medicines increases with age and with that, the mouth gets far more vulnerable to such plaque attacks.
Keep a check on the medicines that cause the saliva to dry out and consult your dentist for alternatives.
Visit the Dental Clinic Regularly
Age weakens the nerves inside your mouth and makes them far less sensitive.
In such cases, you might not even feel any sensations of pain even if there are any. Visiting your dentist for routine oral check-ups every six months is a great way to make sure that your mouth is free from all dental issues.
We hope that these tips help you take good care of your oral hygiene and keep your smile brighter!
At Hutch Family Dentistry Goose Creek, SC, we are a team of expert dentists that offer quality dentistry services. Whether you need to take a simple consultation regarding a small dental issue or you are in need of a surgical solution, our team will be here.