Keeping great dental health in later life is easy with the right education. Learn the top 5 dental problems for people over 50 and how to treat them.
Gone are the days when missing teeth and complete dentures were the norm for the older generation. Recent improvements in dental care are helping more people than ever to keep their teeth. However, enjoying great dental health means recognising and dealing with the first signs of any problems as soon as they occur. Read on for the top five dental problems for people over 50 and what to do about them:
Crowded teeth: As you get older, your teeth shift. Debris can easily get stuck in between overlapping teeth, making it difficult for you to brush and floss properly. Not only can crowded teeth cause decay and disease, but they can also result in undue wear and tear on the enamel. Your dentist will fit you with a retainer, or maybe even braces, to straighten out your teeth. Alternately, frequent professional cleanings may be all you need to remove bacteria and debris from those hard to reach places.
Cavities: Thought you were too old for cavities? Think again. Tooth decay can be a serious problem for older people as well as young. Cavities can develop on the surface of the teeth, around old fillings, and on the roots of the teeth, which weakens and becomes more exposed with age. Prevent and treat tooth decay by brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and visiting caring dental practice for regular checkups.
Dry mouth: Saliva plays an important part in protecting your oral health. It keeps your mouth moist, helps break down your food, and fights off tooth decay. Dry mouth is more common in older people who tend to take a lot of medication with this uncomfortable side effect. A dry throat, difficulty swallowing, and bad breath are just some of its symptoms. The solution? Keep your saliva flowing by sipping more water throughout the day and chewing sugar free gum. If, however, your dry mouth persists, your dentist may recommend a stronger antidote.
Gingivitis: Are your gums bleeding, red, and swollen? Gingivitis is likely to blame. This early stage of gum disease can progress into periodontitis. Eventually, you may lose your teeth. Bring your mouth back to perfect health by keeping a good oral care routine, and attending regular checkups at Camden Dental Practice.
Oral cancer: The risk of oral cancer increases with age. Tobacco and alcohol consumption, as well as infection with the HPV virus, are the most common causes. Symptoms include lumps, ulcers, and red or white patches along the lining of your mouth or tongue. When it comes to chance of survival, early diagnosis is key. Any good dentist in London should screen for oral cancer at your regular checkup — which is especially important if you’re a heavy smoker or drinker. Camden High Street Dental Practice offers this screening, and we can refer you to a specialist if necessary.