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Recognizing Problems with Senior Teeth

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As we age, our teeth undergo changes due to wear and tear. Unfortunately, these changes can sometimes lead to oral health problems that can affect our daily lives. Seniors who are unaware of their dental conditions may be at a greater risk for disease. This is why recognizing problems with senior teeth is extremely important in the early stages. In this blog post, we will discuss some common dental conditions that seniors face and what can be done to address them.

Tooth Decay:

Tooth decay is caused by the buildup of plaque, which doesn't get removed from teeth. Plaque is a sticky, clear film of bacteria that forms on a tooth's surface. The result of tooth decay is cavities, which can lead to pain and discomfort. Seniors who experience cavities must have them treated by a dentist. Treatment may involve a filling, crown, or other restorative procedures.

Gum Disease:

A chronic bacterial infection that affects the gum and bone tissues that surround and support teeth is known as gum disease. It's common among seniors with gum disease, and it can cause tooth loss and damage to the surrounding tissues. Seniors with gum disease can experience symptoms like red, swollen, and bleeding gums, and typically take medications from a dental professional and increase their care at home by practicing good oral hygiene.

Dry Mouth:

Seniors' mouths can also become dry due to changes in the body that affect saliva production. A dry mouth not only leads to discomfort while eating and speaking but also poses a higher risk of tooth decay. Senior patients must consult a dentist or oral health professional about ways they can replenish their oral moisture and what treatments might be recommended to relieve the condition.

Tooth Sensitivity:

As they age, seniors may also develop tooth sensitivity or pain to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks. This can point to tooth decay, gum disease, or another dental condition. A proper diagnosis via x-ray or examination of their mouth is necessary to rule out any underlying issues. Sensitive teeth can be treated with special toothpaste or treatments that numb the nerves in the teeth.

Oral Cancer:

Seniors are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Symptoms such as sores that do not heal or white or red patches in the mouth should be brought to a healthcare professional immediately. Dentists can spot signs of oral cancer in routine checkups, which is why regular dental visits are a must.

It is important for seniors to maintain good oral hygiene habits, avoid tobacco use, and attend routine dental checkups to recognize dental problems early on. Seniors should be vigilant about paying attention to oral health as it can affect their overall well-being and quality of life.

Contact a local dental office to learn more, like Bittersweet Road Family Dentists.