The frequency of dental problems, be it tooth decay, gum diseases or periodontal diseases increases with age and is found to be more prevalent in people over 60 years of age. Gum recession or long tooth is the most common dental ailment observed in older people. The dental condition need not arise due to aging and can be a result of poor oral hygiene during pre-teen and teen years. The plaque build-up over the years needs to be cared for periodically. Otherwise it causes dissolution of bones around the teeth, making it appear longer. The conditions which put the elderly in the high-risk category for gum diseases are:
1. Medication induced gum diseases: The elderly who are using medicines (anti-depressants, medication for certain heart conditions) experience oral health discomforts such as dry mouth which make them susceptible to gingivitis.
2. Hormonal dysregulation during menopause: Women in their menopause experience hormonal imbalances, which make them prone to a painful form of gum disease called desquamative gingivitis.
3. Substance abuse: Habits of tobacco and alcohol add to the risks for gum diseases as well as severe periodontal diseases.
4. Diseases: The elderly suffering from systemic disorders (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis) which interrupt the inflammatory responses of the body, making them prone to oral health abnormalities.
5. Poor nutrition: Appetite reduction with age reduces their nutrition intake (Vitamin C deficiency), making them susceptible to bleeding gums and severe manifestations of gum diseases.
6. Physical and mental well being: The elderly who become forgetful with age, are depression-prone and might not be as active or strong to be able to practice oral hygiene personally/ through a dentist diligently. This tendency puts the elderly in a high-risk category for gum diseases.
It is quite easy to become less cautious about oral hygiene when there are distractions in the form of age associated bigger ailments. All we have to understand is that oral health and overall health are interrelated and oral health would require individual attention. Incorporating healthy habits of tooth-brushing at least twice daily, fluoridated toothpastes, flossing, increased liquid intake and reduced consumption of dehydrating foods with excessive salt content can help prevent onset of gum diseases. Arranging for periodic visits for dental examinations will help get an overall control over oral health. In summary, we can’t erase the wear and tear our body goes through with age, but we can always restore our oral health from getting worse by healthy habits.
To get professional teeth cleaning done, contact Green Meadow Dental, 3579B Berlin Turnpike, Newington CT 06111, call: (860)-865-0056. Families from Portland find the easy drive to Newington well worthwhile because or our expertise and modern facilities, our friendly dental team and the relaxing disposition of Dr. Mukund. We also serve neighboring areas including Farmington, Rocky Hill and Meriden.