Oral health is important for people of all ages, but different age groups face different common problems and challenges when it comes to oral health. One group of people who typically face the most oral health challenges and problems is seniors. If you are a senior or are approaching this age category, you should understand what the common oral health issues are that you might face, as this could help you take the right steps to keep your teeth healthy.
Seniors are much more likely to suffer from dry mouth than any other group of people, and this is primarily because medication is one of the leading causes of dry mouth. Seniors tend to take more medications than younger people, so they naturally have a higher risk of suffering from this condition.
Tooth root issues
As a person ages, he or she has a higher chance of having receding gum lines. This is because gum lines tend to recede over time and with age. When this happens, it can leave tooth roots exposed. Exposed tooth roots leads to sensitivity with teeth, a higher chance of gum disease, and more problems with cavities and other issues with the teeth.
Seniors also suffer from gum disease more than any other group of people, and this, too, is due to the recession of the gum lines. Just like teeth wear out over time, gums do, too, and gums will wear out faster when plaque is left on a person's teeth too long.
Discoloration of the teeth
It is also common for seniors to struggle with discoloration of their teeth. Teeth contain several layers, and the outer most layer is called enamel. Under this layer, you will find the next layer of tooth, which is called dentin. Dentin is yellow in color, and teeth tend to discolor as people age due to enamel erosion. Enamel erosion is the process that involves the gradual wearing away of the enamel. As this occurs, teeth discolor because the layer of dentin is exposed.
People who are older also tend to struggle with a loss of teeth more so than other age groups. Teeth can last a lifetime, but this requires a lot of good oral habits over the course of an entire lifetime. There are a lot of great tooth-replacement options, though, including dental implants and dentures.
If you want to have healthy, strong teeth even through your senior years, you will need to make sure you take all the right steps to keep your teeth this way. If you have questions or need services for your teeth, contact a dentist today.