As a person gets older, problems that affect the mouth can worsen or increase.
This is the reason why it is especially vital to be mindful of the conditions linked with aging that can greatly impact on one’s total wellness.
Furthermore, many people are aware that regular dental and medical checkups are essential; however, most people also do not realize that mouth health is valuable not just for oral health but also for one’s overall health.
In actuality, the mouth serves as the window to the rest of the body so this makes good oral health the best thing a person can do for his body.
Aging puts many elders (especially the seniors) at greater risk for several oral health issues like:
- Dry mouth. This is typically caused by lessened saliva flow that can be a consequence of cancer treatments which make use of radiation to the neck and head area, adverse effects of some medications and other diseases like Sjögren’s syndrome. There are a great number of medicines that can cause dry mouth.
- Darkened teeth. This is relatively caused by some changes in dentin. Dentin refers to the bone-like structure underlying the tooth enamel. Constant consumption of beverages and foods that cause stain as well as the thinning of the layer of the outer enamel (which allows the darker and yellower dentin to show) may result to darkened teeth.
- Gum disease. This is commonly caused and aggravated by using tobacco products, the food left in the teeth, poor diets, ill-fitting dentures and bridges and other diseases like diabetes, cancer and anemia.
- Reduced sense of taste. Aging impairs a person’s sense of taste. Aside from this, dentures, medications and certain diseases may also contribute to sensory loss.
- Medications or ailments which affect the immune system may lead to the overgrowth of Candida albicans (a form of fungus) in the mouth area.
- Tooth loss. In reality, gum problem is the primary cause of tooth loss.
- Root decay. This is mainly caused by tooth root’s exposure to so-called decay-causing acids. The roots of the tooth become exposed as the gum tissue shrinks from the tooth. Moreover, roots do not contain any enamel to shield them and these are more susceptible to decay as compared to the tooth’s crown part.
- Denture-induced stomatitis. Buildup of Candida albicans, poor dental hygiene and poor-fitting dentures may contribute to this condition. This pertains to the inflammation of the tissue that underlies a denture.
- Uneven jawbone. This is typically caused by a tooth and also not replacing a missing tooth. This lets other teeth to drift and move into open spaces.
It is important to consider that age is not the sole and dominant factor in detecting oral health. Meanwhile, certain medical conditions like arthritis in fingers and hands can make flossing teeth and brushing more impossible or complicated to perform. In the same way, medications may also affect oral health and might make a change in one’s dental treatment crucial.
Due to the fact that dental health may contribute to several ailments when neglected, advancing age makes regular dental checkups even more necessary to avoid further health issues.