Common dental issues in the elderly
Age presents a slew of dental issues that are rarely addressed as thoroughly as they should be earlier in life. Some of these issues may be linked to age-related changes in the mouth, gums, and teeth, such as lifelong wear and tear, while others may be linked to various diseases in the elderly.
None of the dental procedures encountered in the elderly are unique to them, but additional caution is essential to avoid or at least reduce the severity of these conditions. Everyone wants to keep their natural teeth, and the elderly can do so if they practice proper oral hygiene and see a dentist regularly.
With aging, saliva output decreases, resulting in mouth dryness. This is exacerbated by a variety of factors, including some medications and mouth breathing. Saliva has a natural antibacterial effect, which means it inhibits the growth of bacteria in the mouth. These germs can chew their way into the teeth, causing harm to the gums and underlying tissue.
Because there is less saliva, food particles and acids are more difficult to wash out. The chance of dental issues increases when saliva production declines. Tooth decay and cavities are some of the most common concerns connected with dry mouth.
Gums That Are Slowly disappearing
With aging, the gums recede, revealing the teeth' roots. The root is more susceptible to degradation because it lacks the protective outer layer known as enamel. Cavities in the teeth can form here, affecting the surrounding tissue. Periodontitis is the term for this condition. The exposed root also causes hypersensitivity of the teeth, making it uncomfortable or even painful to swallow hot or cold beverages.
Although various reasons for dental hypersensitivity have been explored thus far, wear and tear on the teeth is another common component. The tooth's exterior protective layer (enamel) erodes with time, exposing the inner dentine to the environment. This inner tissue has a high sensitivity. The erosion does not expose the entire tooth, but it does produce small channels through which hot and cold liquids, as well as cold air, can enter the inner tissue, causing pain. Acid reflux plays a role in hypersensitivity by eroding the enamel.
Discoloration of the teeth
Discoloration, particularly yellowing and darkening of the teeth, is caused by aging. This could be more of an aesthetic concern than a dental health one. The elderly are no different than any other adult when it comes to seeking sparkling whites. A lifetime of exposure to stain-causing foods and beverages is part of the explanation for this discoloration. Another issue is that alterations to the inner tissue of the tooth may occur, resulting in discoloration.
Dental Care for Elders
The importance of good dental hygiene does not change with age. What worked well earlier in life is still, if not more, effective later in life. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and don't forget to floss and use mouthwash. Dental checkups should be done regularly. Always consult a dentist to determine the best course of action for preserving your natural teeth. It is not necessary to accept dentures as a result of one's age.