As we grow old our body begins to show signs of ageing. Teeth are no exceptions to this rule as they have done enough grinding for years. We just thought we will put together some common dental issues that affect the aged.
- Erosion of Enamel – This is the sign of wear and tear the teeth have undergone. The coating of enamel though said to be very strong slowly erodes as we age. This erosion can fast track dental cavities and can also discolor the teeth.
- Tooth Decay – As we age, the root of the teeth can be exposed and become soft due to gum issues or ageing in general. The teeth becomes weak and they can begin to decay. Actually this problem affects any age group.
- Medications and their side-effects – The aged person may often be taking medicines for such conditions like diabetes, blood pressure or any other ailments that are associated with old age. These ailments can sometimes induce dry mouth conditions and can therefore cause dental issues like dental carries, gum inflammations, etc. Some medicines used for blood pressure can have influence on gums. People with diabetes have tendencies to develop fungal infection and dry mouth.
- Gum Diseases – Gum diseases are the major cause of tooth loss in old age. During old age we might often not brush and floss our teeth properly. This may first lead to gingivitis, inflammation of the gum. If the elederly did not notice at this stage too, then the inflammation can swell with puss collection. This condition is called Periodontal Abscess In a regular dental checkup the dentist would check for gum issues and will also check for any other reasons that may cause gum issues and ask you to take precautions.
- Loss of tooth – This is generally caused because of advanced gum diseases. The roots have become so soft that they cannot hold on to the gums anymore. This results in tooth loss. This is quite common for people who do not maintain their teeth properly.
- Problems of Missing Tooth – If the aged loses a tooth, the problem associated with missing tooth can arise. The functions of teeth like chewing, phonetics (speaking) and aesthetics are affected. Psychological issues because of loss of tooth can also spring up. The bone near the missing tooth degrades much faster for an aged. As this occurs, the adjacent and opposing teeth become weaker and more teeth may be lost.
- Problems associated with Dentures – If the dentures are not fitting anymore and have become loose, or, are being badly maintained (unhygienic), they can trigger inflammation of the tissues that lie underneath the denture. That is why it is mandatory to check the dentures with your dentist everytime you visit them. You can also talk to your dentist on the fixed alternative to your dentures.