It is common to experience many health issues in old age. The condition is propelled by lifestyle in youth and adulthood. The health issues may happen in various bodily parts. Oral health problems in elderly are among the most frequent occurrences. When these problems happen, it can affect day to day functioning. An elder may be unable to do basic activities due to oral issues. The experience is likely going to be annoying and even painful in some cases.
Learning Some Common Oral Health Problems in Elderly
There are several common oral health problems in elderly that you should know.
1. Gum Disease
Gum disease is quite common for older people. It is a condition when one’s gum is infected by bad bacteria. This condition can be a result of untreated plaques. Gum disease can get painful and even dangerous. To protect themselves from this problem, it is important that elder is regularly cleaning teeth by using brush and floss. Visit to dentist must be done in regular interval, which is around once every six months.
2. Unhealed Sores and Abrasion
Sometimes elder will have unidentifiable sores in their mouth. It can be caused by accidental scars such as when the tip of tooth grazes inner mouth skin. However, there are times when the pain in one’s mouth does not go away after a long while. This can be a sign of more pervasive oral health problems in elderly. It can be early symptoms of cancer, especially since oral cancer risk is increasing as people reach old age.
Xerostomia is a condition when someone is incapable of producing enough saliva so the mouth area is noticeably dry. Dry mouth will affect one’s capability of chewing, swallowing, and even producing speech. It is not a normal part of aging process. Injuries to someone’s neck and head area may cause this condition. Medications for certain health issues can also affect saliva production.
Cavities are definitely among the common oral health problems in elderly. It is often associated with hygiene and eating habit, as an example a kid who loves eating chocolate and does not regularly clean teeth. Risk of cavities is even greater for older people. It is important to reduce sugar intake and promote oral hygiene in elderly. Untreated cavities may injure nerve system which is located near the root. The result can be debilitating.
5. Bad Breath
People are not quite confident to interact with others when they have unpleasant smelling breath. This situation is sadly common for older people. It can be caused by untreated cavities that form rotten tooth. Rotten tooth will emit bad odor. Gastric issues are also common causes for bad breath. It is better to seek medical advice if the condition occurs continuously.
6. Tooth Loss
Losing tooth is also among frequent oral health problems in elderly. It might be caused by gum disease and oral cavities. Maintaining hygiene and routinely having dental checkup can be done to avoid this situation. It is not really dangerous but it can affect one’s presentation.