We all want to grow older and still have great teeth. However, in older adults, oral health isn't just about good teeth; it's about maintaining the ability to eat and speak normally. That's why older adults need to visit their dentist regularly. But what kinds of issues do they face? Here's what you need to know about three common dental problems facing older adults:
A receding gumline is a common dental issue that older adults face and can signify gum disease. The natural aging process causes the condition but it can also be caused by other factors such as smoking or grinding the teeth.
Receding gums often appear as a line of small indentations running across the top of the teeth. They are typically only noticeable when you smile and reveal your front teeth. This condition can cause problems with eating and speaking and make brushing difficult due to a lack of space between your mouth and gums.
Dentures can help with receding gums because they restore the natural appearance of your smile by filling in the space left by missing teeth. They also help prevent further receding by restoring your ability to chew and speak normally.
Oral cancer is dangerous and can affect older adults, and it's essential to know the risk factors for this disease. Oral cancer may be caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection that causes warts in the mouth. People who smoke cigarettes are more likely to develop oral cancer than people who don't smoke.
Other risk factors include excessive alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, and exposure to certain chemicals. This is one of the reasons why it’s essential for you to visit your dentist regularly. It is essential to get regular dental checkups so that any signs of oral cancer can be detected early on and treated quickly.
The first signs of oral cancer are often painless and may include a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, bleeding, or ulcers in your mouth that do not heal. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to get checked by your doctor immediately.
According to the National Institute on Aging, many older adults suffer from dry mouth, leading to tooth decay, gum disease, and an increased risk of infection. The good news is that there are ways to combat dry mouth and keep your teeth healthy as well as yourself.
You’ll need to see the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. The dentist can also recommend products that help alleviate dry mouth symptoms, such as rinses or chewable tablets containing fluoride or other ingredients.
You should also stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and limiting your intake of coffee, tea, and alcohol—all of which can cause dry mouth symptoms by reducing saliva production in your body.
The importance of good oral health is something to be considered. The dental issues that older adults face can significantly impact their quality of life and well-being, but with regular visits to the dentist and proper care at home, it's possible to avoid many problems altogether.