Dentistry For Seniors

Common Dental Problems for Seniors

Americans are generally living longer and healthier lives, but many of us don’t take as much care of our teeth as we should.

Missing teeth, infected gums and other oral health problems don’t just affect your ability to eat normally and your appearance. They can also be linked to serious health problems elsewhere in your body.

Read on to find out which dental problems are more likely to affect seniors, and whether your lifestyle habits could be putting your oral health – and your general health – at risk.

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Gum disease
If your gums are red, swollen, itchy or bleed when brushed, these may be symptoms of gum disease.
This inflammation of the gums can usually be treated by improving your oral hygiene or visiting your dentist to remove plaque from your teeth and gums.
If gum disease isn’t treated, it could eventually damage the gums, jaw and the supporting structures of teeth, causing teeth to loosen and fall out.

There is evidence that gum disease may also linked to other serious health conditions such as atherosclerosis, pneumonia and diabetes complications. Smoking increases the risk factor for developing gum disease and other oral health problems.
Missing teeth
If you’re missing one or more teeth, your dentist can discuss options to restore the strength, function and appearance of your smile. These can include dental implants, a fixed bridge or removable dentures. Your dentist will explain what each treatment involves and what risks may be involved so you can make a decision that’s right for you.
Oral cancer
The risk of developing oral cancer – cancers affecting soft tissues in and around the mouth – increases with age. However, if you smoke and drink alcohol, your risk factor could be even greater. Smokers are thought to be nine times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers, while drinking to excess can increase this risk further.
Starting in middle age, annual oral cancer screenings are recommended. These may be performed by your dentist as part of your regular check-up, or they may refer you to another practitioner. Regular screening improves the chance of oral cancer being detected early when it may be easier to treat.

Dentist for Seniors

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