As you age, your oral health needs will change. Older adults – those ages 65 and older – need to understand that as they progress in age, keeping a close eye on their dental health becomes increasingly important. The good news is that with preventive care and our caring team, you will have a healthy smile for many years to come.
Oral Health and Medical Conditions
An aging adult may have health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension that can impact their oral health. When you are maintaining a medical condition, be sure to understand the impacts that it can have on your oral health.
As adults age, they may be prescribed one or several medications that can impact their oral health. Medicines that cause dry mouth may lead to complications with gum disease. Some medicines may even cause adverse reactions.
Common Dental Conditions in Aging Adults
Aging adults face more potential oral health issues than their younger counterparts. These conditions may include:
- Dry mouth
- Root or dental caries
- Periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease
Additionally, an older adult may have more sensitivity to common drugs used while at the dentist, including anesthesia and analgesics.
What is Xerostomia?
Xerostomia is the medical term for dry mouth. As much as 30% of adults 65 and over, and 40% of patients over 80 years of age, have dry mouth. The primary reason for this is a side effect of medication, but it can also be the result of common medical conditions associated with aging, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even Parkinson’s disease.
If you’re an older adult with a chronically dry mouth, sip water throughout the day and avoid dehydrating yourself with alcoholic beverages or drinks high in sugar or caffeine.
Increased Risk of Cavities
Older adults also may be at a higher risk of having receding gums and dental caries. As you age, it is very important to maintain your regular checkups and teeth cleanings to keep your mouth healthy and prevent tooth loss or bone loss.
Call us today to schedule an appointment or discuss any concerns you may have about your oral health and aging.