Common Oral Health Concerns That Seniors Face
Seniors can face a wide array of health problems as they age. Some develop chronic issues while others fall ill often and dental problems are common too. It is easy for senior patients to disregard the latter and focus on more pressing health concerns. Unfortunately, that can lead to severe problems and might even land you in the emergency room.
At Luck Dental Clinic, we always encourage senior patients to be even more careful about their dental health and hygiene. Elderly patients have unique treatment needs. We offer a wide range of dental care services for seniors and create a comfortable environment for them at our clinic. Our dentist makes sure they understand all of their options and can make an informed decision.
Common Oral Health Concerns Amongst Seniors
Seniors face a wide range of dental issues, especially if they neglect their dental hygiene or are unable to manage it themselves. Some of the most common concerns are:
- Cavities – Cavities are relatively common among seniors, and there are several reasons behind this. Some patients have limited mobility and can’t clean their teeth as well as they should. This can lead to tooth decay and related issues, especially if patients don’t visit the dentist regularly. Dentist visits can help address cavities as soon as they’re noticeable and limit the damage done to the teeth.
- Sensitive Teeth – Teeth become sensitive if the enamel has cracked or worn off. This exposes the nerves in the teeth and causes a sharp, stinging sensation whenever you consume hot or cold foods or beverages. Seniors often have worn or damaged teeth, and that can lead to excessive sensitivity.
- Dry Mouth – Saliva helps keep the mouth clean and prevents tooth decay. Some chronic conditions, medications, and even age can result in dry mouth or low saliva production in patients. This can lead to a host of serious dental problems like tooth decay.
- Gum Disease – Periodontal disease is quite common among the elderly, and this is mostly due to poor dental hygiene. Many seniors stop flossing because it requires good motor skills. Just brushing isn’t enough to remove food particles from between teeth, which means they linger and become food for bacteria. That eventually leads to gum disease.
- Loss of Teeth – Many elderly patients lose some or most of their teeth over time. This can be due to poor hygiene, tooth decay, trauma and various other factors. Loss of teeth can have a significant impact on a person’s lifestyle. It can affect what kind of food they eat, how much they eat and even alter their appearance significantly.
These are some of the most common dental health issues elderly patients experience. You can avoid most of them by visiting a dentist regularly.
How Can a Dentist Help?
A dentist will come up with a plan to keep your teeth healthy for the long term. They will help you adjust to lifestyle changes, come up with alternative ways to maintain good dental hygiene, and provide preventive treatments.
For example, a dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth during every appointment. They will remove plaque, look for signs of tooth decay or infections, and check on previous treatments like implants or crowns. They will fix broken fillings, cracked or loose teeth to ensure your oral health is as good as it can be.
Seniors should visit a dentist at least once in six months, if not more often. If you experience toothache or sensitivity, visit the dentist immediately. It isn’t a good idea to wait until the problem worsens before seeking treatment. Fixing minor dental issues is less stressful than undergoing complex surgery further down the line.
If you want to know more about dental fillings or need to book an appointment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Luck Dental Clinic. You can call 715 472 2211 today or contact us through this form.