Most Common Dental Issues of Adults
There’s a survey conducted by the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging that discovered 40 percent of 50 to 64 year olds, including those who are older, don’t get regular dental care. Dental issues increase with age and there is very little that Medicare and other supplementary plans can do to help. Here are some of the most common dental concerns of the aging population and some help being offered so that this vulnerable group can enjoy healthier teeth longer.
Plaque buildup is a tough issue amongst the elderly. As one gets older, it becomes increasingly difficult to remove dental plaque. As gums recede, bone structure changes, teeth can be lost, spaces appear in between teeth where food can lodge. Hand arthritis and tremors make brushing and flossing difficult. The elderly can be taught how to use new devices such as interdental brushes, floss picks, and water flossers that can help with tooth care.
Gum disease can expose root surfaces which are more prone to decay. So to keep gum disease at bay, in addition to brushing and flossing, fluoride mouthwash is recommended. More frequent dental appointments for root planing and scaling will also prevent receding gums.
Tooth sensitivity is often a sign of the presence of cavities. The teeth become sensitive to hot or cold stimuli, and sometimes exposed root surfaces can also be sensitive. Consider using a toothpaste or rinse formulated to reduce sensitivity. If one product is ineffective, try another one.
Brittle teeth is another dental concern. Long wear and tear can make them prone to fracture, especially so if they have fillings. The diet of these patients must not always include hard-to-chew food. Regular dental visits can detect such teeth and do interventions before the damage becomes irreparable.
Dry mouth is the result of aging as well as taking of certain prescription medications. Decreased salivation makes the teeth more prone to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Sipping water frequently, chewing sugar-free gum, and avoiding mouthwashes that contain alcohol can help.
Fixed bridges and dentures may trap food and bacteria, leading to decay. Use instead floss threaders to floss under a bridge. Water flossers also help clean hard-to-reach spaces.
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Why wait when you get older to care for your teeth and gums. As early as possible one must mind proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits to maintain oral health for as long as one can.