Aging affects you everywhere, and your mouth is no exception. No matter how careful you are with your health in general, sometimes dental issues fall by the wayside. A little knowledge about common dental problems for those in their later years may help you to avoid doing further damage. Read on to learn more about some of these teeth troubles.
As you age, your body's ability to fight off infection is reduced, and to make matters worse your mouth is usually full of bacteria. The presence of these germs in your mouth is perfectly normal, but problems can occur if that bug is able to gain entry into your gums via a cut, sore, or cavity. Once this happens, the problem can quickly escalate. If you notice some bleeding when you brush, have a sore or swollen area on your gums, or notice any extra sensitivity, you may be developing gingivitis. As if gingivitis was not enough, left untreated it could progress to periodontitis, which is a serious problem that could even lead to the loss of bone in the mouth and jaw area.
Being too embarrassed to smile is unfortunate, but missing teeth harbor a more harmful effect. Your teeth all depend on each other to stay in proper alignment, and the top teeth need the bottom teeth to keep them from shifting, becoming loose, and getting damaged. When you have a tooth missing, it places all of your healthy teeth at risk of also being lost. Dentures, bridges, or implants provide a solution that will not only make you seem happier to others, but will preserve your smile for the future.
Sure, having a dry mouth is annoying, but is it really that important? Seniors often deal with this irritating issue, and you can blame medications and medical disorders like diabetes for having a dry mouth. This issue goes beyond inconvenience, however, since saliva acts as a natural mouthwash for your mouth, constantly keeping it rinsed and clean. A clean mouth means less problems like cavities and gum diseases, so replenishment of that moisture is essential. Fortunately, you can help replace some of the moisture by supplementing it with over-the-counter treatments like Oasis and Biotene.
This is one scary disease, and many people fail to realize that oral cancer can go undetected for far too long if you aren't' careful. Early signs of oropharyngeal cancer can present with bumps on the inside of your mouth that are virtually unnoticeable, unless you get frequent dental check ups. If this cancer is caught early, the chances of survival are considerable. Just another important reason to see local dental services on a regular basis.