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Dental Health Concerns Facing Senior Citizens

Dental health is a concern at all ages, and something that requires regular care.  However, as a person ages, the number of potential dental concerns can grow.  Here are a list of some of the most common dental issues that plague those over the age of 65.

Medications’ Impact on Dental Health

The vast majority of people will find that they need great medical intervention as they age.  This can often result in the need of one- or multiple daily medications.  Some of these drugs can have an adverse effect on dental health.  There are many medication prescriptions for medical issues, which list ‘dry mouth’ as a potential side effect.  It may sound minor when listed among other potential side effects, but dry mouth can be very troubling.  A decrease in saliva production can increase the risk of tooth decay and gingivitis.

For this, it is commonly recommended that senior citizens regularly use mouthwash to rinse away bacteria and food debris. Things like sugar-free- gum, hard candy, or lozenges can also help promote saliva production.  It is also possible a person’s dentist will recommend tooth sealants to add a barrier of protection for the teeth.

Increased Risk of Gum Disease

In addition to the part played by medication-induced dry mouth, gums and can break down and pull away from the teeth over time.  This combination can result in a much greater risk of gum disease and periodontal disease.  When bacteria finds its way in, it can cause this very painful condition. If it progresses, it will result in serious damage to the gums, bone, and ligaments of the mouth.

Mouth Cancer

Unfortunately, age is also a predictor of oral cancer. This makes regular dental appointments even more essential later in life, so any problems can be caught early and treated immediately.

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