It’s important to take excellent care of your teeth and gums no matter how old you are. But as with the rest of your body parts, age can take a toll on them. Due to natural wear and tear, senior citizens need to pay extra attention to their oral health.
At the office of Mark Helms, DDS and Dalton Carruthers Hunt, DMD, our skilled professionals are experts at treating patients of all ages. We provide all of our patients with treatments needed to maintain excellent oral health. Your care and comfort are our top priorities.
Older adults should monitor these dental concerns.
Even toddlers can get cavities, but seniors are particularly at risk because decades of use weakens tooth enamel, which promotes cavities.
At the same time, gum recession leaves root surfaces vulnerable to decay. Left untreated, the decay infects the tissues and bones that encircle the teeth. It starts as gingivitis (swollen, red or bleeding gums) and progresses to periodontitis (receded gums and worn away bone). Still left untreated, teeth might loosen or fall out. About 66 percent of adults who are 65 and older have gum disease. And here’s a disturbing statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 34 percent of Americans 65 and older have lost six or more teeth to gum disease and tooth decay.
Reduced saliva production, specific medications or certain persistent conditions can lead to dry mouth, which ups the risk of cavities. Talk to your dentist for ways to replenish moisture in your mouth and your physician to find a medication or dosage that won’t dry up your saliva.
It’s always more treatable when found in its early stages, before it’s had a chance to metastasize. Pain isn’t a common early symptom, so regular dental checkups are crucial.
Learn about oral health issues as you age, and talk to your dentist about how to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Mark Helms, DDS and Dalton Carruthers Hunt, DMD provides premium care. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us today for an appointment. We look forward to finding out how we can help you.
By Mark Helms, DDS and Dalton Carruthers Hunt, DMD
February 9, 2023