As you age your teeth age with you. It is found that most oral diseases happen among people above the age of 65. There are many reasons for this, such as not paying attention to oral health as children, not having visited dentists regularly, not having a proper brush routine, smoking and chewing tobacco or eating things that damage teeth.
Due to the increase in geriatric oral diseases, it is vital to understand how they are caused, their symptoms and things you should do for cure.
- Gum Diseases: It is very important to take care of your gums and poor care can lead to tooth loss, which is common amongst the aged. Gum disease can be divided into two stages.
- Gingivitis: Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease caused by bacteria in plaque. Its symptoms include bleeding and swollen gums. Since it is an early stage, it can be treated by following a healthy dental routine and a regular visit to dental clinics. But, if ignored, it can advance into Periodontics.
- Periodontics: This is a more severe gum disease in which bacterial infection leads to receding gums and bones that hold the teeth in its place. This can lead to tooth loss. If you are losing teeth, the best solution maybe to visit a dental clinic as soon as possible.
- Tooth Decay: Tooth Decay is a fairly common disease. It happens when receding gums lead to exposure of the roots of the teeth. The roots being more soft and porous than the crown cause the tooth to decay. In the elderly, this may happen due to hard brushing or due to gum diseases.
- Dry Mouth: Certain over-the-counter drugs can cause a reduction is the amount of saliva that your mouth secretes. This can cause Dry Mouth and lead to other oral diseases. Saliva usually washes your mouth off bacteria and neutralises harmful acids thus preventing tooth decay. Dry mouth can be treated by constant hydration, avoiding sugar, alcohol, smoking and flossing. You can also ask get saliva inducing drug prescriptions from your dentist.
- Staining: Ageing can cause thinning of the enamel around the teeth. This can lead to yellow teeth and can cause stains too. If you notice stains on your teeth, whitening products might help. You can also consult a cosmetic dentist to improve the appearance.