Dental Problems in the Elderly

No matter how young or old you are, you will never eliminate health problems. As you age, your body becomes more susceptible to various diseases and health problems. Your diet, lifestyle, your habits- everything plays a major role in deciding how healthy you will be when you are old. Studies show that your dental health is linked to your overall health, hence maintaining good oral health is necessary to be healthy forever. 

Seniors are always susceptible to more dental problems, so we must know the kind of diseases they might face in order to be prepared for ourselves or for them. The family dentists in Burlington, Ontario will provide the best dental care for you and your loved ones.

Common dental problems in the seniors

  • Gum disease

Gum disease is the inflammation of the gums, which can get severe and develop into periodontitis. It is very common in the elderly, with around 68% of adults aged 65 years or older suffering. This disease is caused when plaque starts accumulating in between the gaps of teeth and gums. This later develops into tartar, allowing bacteria to proliferate in the mouth. It is also associated with cardiovascular diseases, tooth loss, and diabetes.

  • Tooth decay

Tooth decay is caused due to poor oral hygiene. Not brushing regularly or following healthy dental habits leads to infection in the gums and teeth. The bacteria secrete acids that damage the enamel of the teeth and hence cause cavities. Therefore, it is best to avoid sugary foods and ensure the mouth is rinsed often.

  • Dry mouth

With age, the salivary glands lose their ability to secret ample saliva. Their inability is further accompanied by medications that the seniors consume daily, reducing the secretion of saliva. As a result, there is no liquid in the mouth to stop plaque buildup, thus making the elderly more susceptible to infections.

  • Loss of tooth

Periodontitis becomes prevalent in people aged 65 years or above, thus leading to tooth loss. In this case, the bacteria weakens the tissues and bones supporting the teeth, thus causing the teeth to fall off. Many adults above 75 years of age lose their teeth thoroughly. Dental solutions like dentures or implants can be used to restore functionality.

  • Halitosis (bad breath)

Due to dry mouth, very little saliva is present in the mouth. Since saliva is helpful in preventing the growth of bacteria, they start multiplying. This leads to infections in the mouth, causing bad breath. Sometimes, the patient might also have bad breath due to underlying health conditions.