Common Oral Health Concerns for Seniors

​People of all ages are at risk of various oral health issues.

That’s why it’s very important to ensure that we all stick to our oral health hygiene so we don’t fall victim to most of these avoidable issues.

That said, there are a few issues that should be of great concern to seniors. Understanding these common oral health issues and their basis may be helpful in keeping them at bay.

Tooth Loss

Most patients over 66 have fewer than 19 teeth remaining, while as many as 27 percent of people in this age range have no remaining teeth. Poor dental hygiene and smoking may even increase this risk.

Regular dental visits will, however, help you reduce this risk. If you lose a tooth, you should visit your dentist for the most suitable replacement procedure, such as dental implants, that will help you eat, talk and smile better.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is also known as xerostomia, a condition in which the mouth produces less than enough saliva, leaving the mouth dry. Dry mouth can be caused by medications, and most seniors take some medicines.

Other things such as poor oral hygiene, infections, hormone changes and allergic reactions can cause dry mouth. The dry mouth in itself can also cause other minor and major issues such as cavities and even gum disease.

Bad Breath

Dry mouth, periodontal diseases and poor oral hygiene can all cause bad breath. Endeavor to brush and floss regularly and see your dentist regularly too.

Gum Disease

Because gum disease usually takes years to develop, it’s more prevalent in aging populations. Your susceptibility to this will also be greatly diminished with proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits.

Other common issues of concern to seniors include poor denture care, cavities and tooth discoloration, among others. Regular dental visits will greatly help with curing or preventing most of these conditions.

For more information, contact Dr. Norman at 425-366-7983.