Senior Citizen Dental Issues: What To Know

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Dental health can decline as you grow older. However, that doesn't mean you can't have a healthy mouth at any age. Though it may require more attention than it used to, the below dental maladies that tend to strike older patients can be remedied. Read on and find out more.

Lost Teeth

Many seniors are missing a tooth here or there by now and they often are either sporting gaps in their smile or using something else that may not be working very well. Many, for example, already have a full arch of dentures or at least a partial denture. This could be the perfect time to consider dental implants. You can choose an implant instead of a partial denture, for instance. They are far more carefree than a removable denture that must be taken out for cleaning and needs occasional readjusting. You can even use a few implants to anchor dentures that don't need to be removed. Speak to your dentist and you might be amazed at what you find. 

Serious Cancer Problems

Oral cancer can pop up in older populations more often because of several factors. Many seniors are dealing with other medical conditions like diabetes and others. This type of cancer can be slow growing so it's very survivable if caught early. However, it can be tricky to spot the signs of oral cancer. It might appear as some tiny bumps that only your dental hygienist might see, for example. Oral cancer issues are just another reason to see your dentist for regular checkups and have your teeth cleaned. 

Dry Mouth 

Many of the drugs seniors take also reduce saliva production in the mouth. Saliva is like the unsung hero in your mouth. It washes bacteria away and keeps them from clinging so closely to your teeth. As you know, bacteria is bad for your teeth. It can cause decayed teeth and gum diseases. So, even though having a dry mouth is uncomfortable, it can also be bad for your dental health. 

Speak to your doctor and ask about alternatives to your current medication. They might not have the dry mouth side effect. You can also combat dry mouth by drinking more water and using special rinses and gums. 

Don't give up on your dental health just because you are older. Taking care of yourself includes proper dental care too. Speak to your family dentist to learn more about dealing with the above issues and more.