Dental care for the elderly can be tricky as people grow older, they face difficulties with normal day to day routines. There are number of age-related oral health problems that put many seniors at risk.
Dental care for the elderly: Some of the risks
Oral thrush is usually harmless and is common in older people with dentures. A small colony of this fungus normally present in your mouth without causing harm. Infection occurs when this fungus (Candida albicans) begins to grow uncontrollably and infects the mouth. Certain diseases or drugs can trigger the overgrowth and can cause problems for those with weakened immune systems.
The leading cause of tooth loss among seniors is gum disease. Regular dental visits and good care of the gums can prevent tooth loss.
Usually caused by a lifetime of consuming stain-causing foods and beverages. Other reasons for discoloured teeth include changes in dentin and erosion outer enamel layer.
The reduced flow of saliva can cause many dental problems including cavities and bad breath. Dry mouth can be a result of medication or due to cancer treatments that use radiation in the facial region.
This is caused when gum tissue recedes from the tooth and exposes the root to decay-causing acids. Since the roots do not have any enamel to protect them and are more prone to decay.
Replacing missing teeth is very important as rest of the teeth shift into empty spaces created by tooth loss. This eventually leads to uneven jaw bone and makes it difficult to chew food.
Dental care for the elderly
While age by itself is not the main factor in determining oral health, there are conditions like medications, arthritis, and dementia, as well as other factors that affect oral health. If they wear dentures, then keep a lookout for their eating habits. In case they have difficulty due cognitive or dexterity issues,you can help by constantly reminding or taking them to the bathroom. You can also help to apply paste on the brush, help to floss, or just hold their hands to offer some stability.
Since dental problems may arise at any time, it is important for the elderly to have periodical checks. As a result, making sure they visit their dentist regularly is all too important part of dental care for the elderly.
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