Age itself is not a dominant or unique factor in determining oral health. Some medical conditions, such as arthritis of the hands and fingers, can make brushing and floss difficult or impossible. Medications can also affect oral health and may require changes in dental care. As we grow older, many people are at risk for a variety of oral health problems, including:
- Dark teeth: To some extent, it is caused by changes in dentin (the bone-like tissue underneath the teeth’ enamel) and the lifetime consumption of foods and drinks that cause stains. It also thins the outer enamel layer, allowing dark, yellow dentin to show through. If one or more teeth are darkened, it may be a sign of a more severe problem and should be checked by your dentist.
- Gum disease: Caused by plaque and exacerbated by food left on the teeth and also caused by tobacco products, inadequate bridges and dentures, inadequate diet, and certain illnesses such as anemia, cancer, and diabetes, which is often a problem.
- Tooth loss: Gum disease is the principal cause of tooth loss.
- Dry mouth: A decrease in saliva flow causes it. It may result from cancer treatment with radiation from the head and neck, and certain diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome, and side effects of the drug. Many drugs can cause thirst.
- Thrush: Diseases and drugs that affect the immune system can cause the overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans in the mouth.
- No Taste: Taste changes with age, but illness, medications, and dentures can also contribute to this loss of sensation.
- Root Deterioration: This is because the teeth’ roots are exposed to acid and cause tooth rot. As the gum tissue separates from the tooth, the roots of the tooth are exposed. The roots do not have the enamel to protect them and are more likely to be hollow than the crown.
- Non-uniform jaw: This is due to the teeth, so the missing teeth cannot be replaced. It will allow the remaining teeth to move and move into the open space.
- Denture-induced stomatitis: Poor denture fit, poor dental hygiene, or the accumulation of Candida albicans can cause this condition. This is an inflammation of the tissue under the denture.
How to Improve Dental Health in Senior Citizens?
There are several steps you can take to help your beloved elderly maintain good dental health:
- Encourage them to eat a healthy diet that isn’t high in sugar to help prevent tooth decay and other health problems.
- Regular appointments to the dentist can help in preventing dental problems and keep teeth healthy. The Dental clinics in Sri Lanka recommend visiting the dentist once a year.
- Remind them to brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. A soft electric toothbrush can facilitate dental hygiene. Set a reminder for them. It is important to make sure that their mouth and teeth are clean.
- Remind them to floss regularly. Daily floss helps in preventing from plaque and gum illness. If your loved one has problems with flossing, use other tools and techniques with the doctor’s consent.
- Remind your parent or elderly ones to clean full or partial dentures daily and remove them at night.
- Tell the dentist about the medical conditions and medications of seniors. If dry mouth is a problem, the dentist may offer strategies to help relieve it.
Poor dental health and hygiene may indicate that your loved one needs to help with daily living activities. Consider whether it is time to support your life so that your staff can help you with care, change of clothes, medication management, and provide many opportunities for social activities and involvement. Visit Cayo dental clinics in Kandy for checkups and more details.
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