Seniors and older persons are among the most susceptible to harsh health conditions, oral diseases included, and the toughest complication possibilities. Here is a list of the top 4 oral conditions seniors may not know about but should definitely be aware of.
Periodontitis is an infection of the gums that can cause damage in the soft tissue and bones that support teeth. The signs and symptoms include swollen, tender gums, pus between teeth, and painful chewing. It can become very serious in seniors, as the bacteria that causes the infection can enter the bloodstream and affect the heart, lungs, and other organs. As with most other oral conditions, it can be treated by a dental professional and prevented with regular checkups and good habits.
Xerostomia is a term used to describe dry mouth and, although it is not a disease on its own, it can occur as a side effect of other illnesses such as autoimmune disorders or diabetes, or from receiving radiation therapy for cancers of the head and neck. It can become a pesky annoyance for older adults, but regular brushing and dental visits can help relieve the symptoms, as can some certain medications.
Tooth Decay and Loss
As some seniors age, their teeth tend to decay and loosen quickly. Loss of the teeth is very common in older people, as 27.27% of people over age 65 have no remaining teeth at all, and many turn to cosmetic dentistry to fix the problem. Bridges and dentures can be given as well as implants to make the upkeep on their teeth easier and less stressful.
Oral Candidiasis (Thrush)
Oral Thrush is a condition in which fungus accumulates on the linings of the mouth. It causes white lesions to appear on the tongue and inner cheeks as well as gums and throat later on. Some other symptoms include soreness of the mouth, a cottony feeling, and loss of taste. It is common in seniors with reduced immune systems, and it can be more difficult for them to fight off the fungus and restrain it from spreading to the rest of their bodies.
When it comes to oral health, seniors need to take a few more precautions than any other age group. There are a lot of diseases they may be susceptible to with a number of possible complications. However, dental checkups and hygienic routines are the best preventative measure they can take.