Ageing is not a pretty process. Your mouth changes as you age, and it becomes even more important to take good care of your teeth and dental health.
One common misconception is that losing your teeth is inevitable.
Tooth loss, cavities, and a whole lot of problems are down and waiting but if cared for properly, your teeth can last a lifetime.
Some of the most common dental problems for adults that you must watch out for are wearing of enamel,tooth decay,dry mouth, tooth pain, inflamed gums, bleeding gums, making the teeth vulnerable to irreversible damage.
Here are 5 common geriatric dental problems to watch out for, their prevention, treatment, and management.
Tooth decay- Tooth decay might lead to cavities which might further lead to infection, pain, and even loss of teeth. The cause of these cavities could be tartar, a constant buildup of plaque or a dry mouth with excessive sugar intake.The best approach for this is prevention. Brush twice a day and use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Gum diseases -Gum diseases or periodontal diseases are commonly caused by tartar and plaque. Smokers can suffer from these periodontal problems at an early stage. The most common symptoms of this disease are red, inflamed, and bleeding gums which eventually leads to periodontitis which is a severe infection leading to the damage of tissues supporting the teeth. However, these gum diseases can be prevented if treated at an early stage. Brushing and flossing and regularly visiting the dentist can surely help a lot.
Dry Mouth -With the advancement of age, there is usually a decrease in the production of saliva as side-effect of long term medication. Reduced saliva and acid buildup eventually lead to periodontitis.
Receding Gums- As you age, the margin of the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth starts to wear away, or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth, or the tooth’s root. When gum recession occurs, “pockets,” or gaps form between the teeth and gum line, making it easy for disease-causing bacteria to build up. If left untreated, the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be severely damaged, and may ultimately result in tooth loss.
Oral cancer-The chances of oral cancer increase with age. People who smoke or drink alcohol frequently pose to be at a higher risk. Regular dental check ups are mandatory to keep an eye on any persistent sores, ulcers, or color changes in the mouth and to ensure that their gums and surrounding tissue are as healthy as possible.
Dr Kshama Chandan runs her private practice at ‘House of Tooth’ in Mumbai and continues to provide the best quality dental care to all her patients.