If you are a senior citizen, then it's vital that you pay special attention to your dental care. As you get older, oral and dental problems may occur more frequently due to the aging process. This article looks at several key oral health issues that older people need to keep in mind.
Many older people take a wide range of medications to deal with various health difficulties. Unfortunately, a common side effect of hundreds of medications is dry mouth. A dry mouth often leads to an increase in cavities because saliva helps protect your teeth against tooth decay.
Make certain that your dentist is aware of any and all prescription drugs that you are taking. If he determines that you suffer from dry mouth, he may advise you to use an oral spray or mouthwash and to avoid beverages that aggravate dry mouth, such as coffee, sodas, and alcohol. The dentist might also recommend that you talk with your family doctor about switching to other prescription drugs.
Oral cancer is an extremely serious condition that is more likely to affect older people. The average age for someone being diagnosed with this condition is 62, according to the American Dental Association. Fortunately, oral cancer can be successfully treated if it's caught in the early stages. For this reason, regular visits to your dentist or oral health care provider are crucial, as these increase the chances that the disease will be diagnosed early.
Your gums tend to recede as you age, which allows the base of your teeth to become exposed. In some instances, this leads to increased tooth sensitivity because the lower portion of the tooth is not covered in enamel. You might find that when you drink a cold or beverage, for example, that you feel a small amount of pain. If the problem is not severe, you might be able to resolve the issue with a toothpaste that is made especially for those with sensitive teeth.
Certain health issues that some seniors must deal with, such as heart disease or having an artificial joint, make an infection from a dental procedure more likely. If you have this type of risk factor, your dentist might recommend that you take an antibiotic before the procedure is done. Always advise your dentist about any underlying heath problems from which you suffer.
Seniors have several crucial considerations they must keep in mind to maintain good oral health. For more information on this topic, consult with your dentist.