Shelby Family Dentist Explains the Oral Health Issues Seniors Face
Despite the fact that oral health is an important part of an older person’s well-being, it is often overlooked. Our family dentist in Shelby knows that arthritis and neurological conditions can make it difficult for people to brush and floss their teeth. Below are some of the most common dental issues for seniors:
Children are not the only ones who develop tooth decay. This condition is very common in people who are over the age of 65. It is estimated that 92 percent of people who are over the age of 65 have cavities. A person’s chance of developing cavities increases as he or she gets older because many people do not get annual dental exams.
This is why many cavities go untreated. It is important for older people to see a family dentist in Shelby NC, so that cavities can be treated within a timely manner. Regular dental exams can also help prevent other dental issues for seniors.
Cavities, poor-fitting dentures, missing teeth and gum disease can make it difficult for seniors to eat. Many seniors are forced to adjust their diet because of this problem.
The medical term for dry mouth is xerostomia. It is estimated that one out of five seniors suffer from dry mouth. Many seniors are on a several types of medications to treat chronic conditions. Muscle relaxers, antidepressants, blood pressure medications and antihistamines can cause dry mouth. Dentists recommend drinking plenty of fluids in order to combat dry mouth. You should also inform your dentist if you suspect that your medications are causing dry mouth.
Gum disease is a condition where the gums are infected and inflamed. It can occur at any age, but it has a tendency to worsen as a person gets older. Many people do not have any pain during their early stages. However, people who have advanced gum disease may experience pain while they are chewing. They may also have sore gums.
Gum disease is typically brought on by poor oral hygiene. If plaque is not removed, then it will harden and form tartar. A professional cleaning is required to remove tartar. Periodontitis and gingivitis are the two forms of gum disease. Gingivitis causes the gums to bleed, swell and become red. Periodontitis causes the gums to separate from the teeth. Annual dental exams, flossing and brushing can prevent gum disease.
If you’re unsure how long it has been since visiting your local dentist office or you may have some dental or tooth pain, please get in touch with our Shelby family dentist today for an appointment.