The baby boomers as everyone is aware, are reaching the age of retirement. That means over the next few years there will be approximately 65 million citizens who will be able to classify themselves as “senior.” Along with the celebration of reaching this far in life, there are also additional health concerns. The older we get the more attention we pay to what our bodies telling us and that includes our mouths.
The following are some of the dental concerns seniors need to be aware of:
Dental Concerns and Effects
There are a number of dental concerns that can arise from other issues and to be aware of them. For example, a painful bout of arthritis can prevent you from being able to regularly brush your teeth. There may even be a problem with just standing in front of the sink. The effect of that causes your oral health practices to be neglected.
You cannot disregard dental concerns because you have dentures. Those fixtures will still require cleaning. A pair of dentures can if not correctly fitted stop someone from eating healthy. That can affect your overall health. The solution may require switching to using a softer material on the underside of the fixtures or using implant-supported dentures.
There have been studies that have linked gum disease and heart disease. The contributing factors are identical. These may include bad diet, lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking. Periodontal disease might be the precursor to heart disease. A tooth infection that goes unchecked may trigger bacterial endocarditis, which is a direct target on your heart valves. Yes, it’s all connected!
Other Problem Areas
• Tooth Loss: With chronic gum disease there’s the potential for tooth loss. For some seniors, this can be embarrassing that could cause them to withdraw from their friends and family.
• Dry Mouth: Not enough saliva in the mouth can be tied to a change in prescription medication.
• Gum Disease: Gum disease can be caused by a bad diet, smoking, and poor oral hygiene practices. The same can also be said for people that are anemic, diabetic, or has been diagnosed with cancer.
• Stomatitis: Poor-fitting dentures or poor oral hygiene can cause a buildup of bacteria.