Aging brings along a variety of physical and mental problems. The body becomes less immune to diseases, and your muscles and bones begin to weaken due to wear and tear. You also end up becoming vulnerable to several dental problems. For instance, in America, adults with the age of 50 and above lose a mean of 12 teeth. By the time they reach 65 years, a significant percentage of the population tend to lack all permanent teeth. This is due to the various dental problems which affect them during this age. Among them include:
Dental caries is a prevalent dental disease commonly known as tooth decay. It occurs when food particles remain on the tooth surface long enough for the bacteria in plaque to start producing acidic substances. The substance then destroys the enamel, which is the hard part of the tooth leading to tooth decay. But because the elderly are not quick to identify or even notice the ongoing problem, it leads to cavities. What makes the problem prevalent among older adults is because their enamel is softer, thus susceptible. To curb such a condition, you need to avoid eating sugary foods. You should also visit the dentist as soon as you notice signs of a cavity.
Degradation of the enamel
Enamel degradation is one of the many dental diseases that older adults often face. The dental condition comes about when you expose your teeth to corrosive compounds such as sweet snacks and fizzy drinks. The components in the foods end up, causing the teeth to decolorize. They also lead to the corrosion of the enamel, thus doing away with its integrity. That leaves the tooth surface weak, and that means any slight wear and tear can lead to cracking or chipping of the tooth. You should thus avoid taking soft drinks and consuming sugary cakes and cookies. Instead, opt for drinks such as water and milk.
Xerostomia or dry mouth
Just like the name suggests, xerostomia is a dental condition that occurs due to salivary glands not producing enough saliva. In most cases, the situation arises due to various prescriptions. Once that happens, it becomes impossible for plaque to wash away from your teeth. Such conditions tend to fuel the development of different dental conditions, such as cavities. Sadly, there is no way you can treat dry mouth directly. The only thing you can do is to trigger your salivary glands. You can do so by chewing sugarless gum. It would be best if you also considered taking plenty of water to prevent any discomfort that may arise due to the condition.
It is inarguable that oral cancer is a dangerous dental problem. That is why dental practitioners tend to advise patients to watch out for early signs. If detected during its initial stages, it is possible to treat the dental condition. Some of the most common symptoms of oral cancers include pink lumps or unexplained changes in the mouth. Once you notice such, visit a dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist would carry out a dental x-ray to confirm whether you have any oral cancer. After that, he or she is going to determine the type of medications to prescribe.
TMJ or Temporomandibular joint disorder
Although TMJ is a common problem among young men and women, the elderly population can also develop it. It’s one of the common dental conditions for older adults that leads to the dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint. The leading cause of the problem is stressful situations, which makes it a psychological condition. That means for you to treat TMJ, you need to find a distraction. You can do so by developing a hobby or engaging in mild exercises. If you are too old, you will find counseling to be beneficial. If the condition doesn’t get prompt treatment, it may lead to extended jaw pains.
There reaches a time when your gums start moving further away from your teeth, thus exposing your roots. That is what happens when you develop a gum recession. The causative agent of this dental problem includes smoking, eating sugary foods, and sometimes genetics. Leaving gum recession unchecked at such an old age can lead to loss of teeth as well as cause tooth sensitivity. You should thus consider quitting smoking and practicing good oral hygiene. Also, make sure you stay away from sugary products like cakes. You should consider visiting the dentist if the condition persists. He or she will know how best to stop your gums from receding further.
Bleeding gums or gingivitis
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gum at the neck of the tooth due to the buildup of bacteria. If left unchecked, the condition can end up damaging the gum tissue adversely, and that can lead to a severe infection. That may end up giving you a hard time chewing food, which will, in turn, affect the swallowing. To prevent such a scenario, you must consider maintaining proper dental hygiene. If any symptoms of gingivitis show, visit the dentist.
The listed dental problems mostly arise during aging can be due to the tendency to forget about dental hygiene and giving up on going for dental checkups. That gives time for plaque and bacteria to build up in your mouth and cause various health conditions. It is thus advisable that you follow the given advice and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth. Doing so will keep some of the dental diseases at bay.
This guest post was graciously contributed by Content Marketing Executive, Emma Willson.