Seniors are often faced with a multitude of dental problems they did not have to face as younger adults. Here are just a few reasons why older patients may be experiencing tooth and gum issues they did not have when they were younger.
Taking medications is not unusual for older adults, and many medications (more than 500 common medications)can cause dry mouth. Put simply, dry mouth can lead to cavities. So, if you are taking medicine for pain, anxiety or depression, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, high cholesterol, allergies, high blood pressure, or asthma, it is important to talk to your dentist so that you can learn about options for relieving the dry mouth and/or protecting teeth with a sealant.
Over time, the often-painless gum disease (also known as periodontal disease), which is caused by the bacteria in plaque, advances to a point where it effects the teeth and becomes noticeable. Periodontal disease can make gums swollen, red, and more likely to bleed. In the advanced stage, gums will pull away from the teeth which allows plaque and food particles to collect in the pockets and further damage teeth, and gums, and later the bones and ligaments of the jaw.
Cancers of the Mouth
The average age of people diagnosed with oral cancer is 62. Dentists are trained to look for the signs of oral cancer such as open sores, white patches and other changes to the lips, tongue and lining of the mouth. Early stages of mouth cancer are not often painful, so it is important to maintain regular visits with the dentists and watch for anything unusual.
Growing older can be a time of great joy and fulfillment—but it can also mean more frequent trips to the dentist, even for the most diligent tooth-brusher! To maintain the best oral health, it is important to maintain the partnership with your dentist, with regular visits to the office, and treatments as recommended. Also, be sure to mention any medicines, or other medical treatments you are receiving. We look forward to seeing you soon at Alameda Dental in Tulsa, Contact us today for your next appointment, or with any questions.