Good news for Hendricks County seniors: Older individuals are keeping more of their natural teeth for longer than ever before. And with good oral hygiene and regular checkups at Danville Family Dentistry, your teeth can last a lifetime. However, aging and oral health problems can increase as you get older. Therefore, you need to understand the risks, so you can treat these conditions appropriately.
Common aging and oral health problems that Hendricks County seniors can have, include:
- Dry mouth. Reduced saliva production is often caused by prescription and over-the-counter medications, smoking, certain diseases and radiation treatments for cancer. Dry mouth also can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.
- Tooth decay. On a daily and annual basis, your teeth are exposed to plaque, tartar and bacteria that can cause cavities. And as you age, certain diseases like arthritis can make it difficult to properly brush and floss your teeth, leading to plaque, tartar and bacteria buildup on your teeth.
- Gum disease. You’re more inclined to develop gum disease as you get older. With gingivitis, an early stage of the disease, your gums can become swollen, red and bleed easily. If your gingivitis is left untreated, you can develop periodontitis, which is when your gums pull away from your teeth and you develop pockets that can become infected. Periodontitis can eventually lead to tooth loss if it’s not treated.
- Tooth loss. Extensive tooth decay or gum disease are leading causes of tooth loss.
- Darkened teeth. Your teeth can darkened over time due to changes in the dentin of your teeth, the bone-like tissue under the tooth’s enamel. Also, darkened teeth can be caused by a lifetime of consuming stain-causing foods and beverages, like berries or coffee, or from smoking.
- Diminished sense of taste. Age, certain diseases, medications and dentures can contribute to your loss of taste.
- Fungus Candida albicans or thrush. Certain diseases or medications that affect your immune system can cause an overgrowth of this fungus.
- Denture-induced stomatitis. Inflammation of the tissues under your dentures can occur from ill-fitting dentures, poor dental hygiene or a buildup of fungus Candida albicans.
- Oral cancer. Advanced age, smoking and heavy alcohol use can increase your risk of developing oral cancer.
If you experience any of these common aging and oral health issues, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jon Erickson at Danville Family Dentistry, located in Hendricks County. Dr. Erickson can review your oral health issues with you and make appropriate treatment recommendations.
However, as you get older, you don’t have to be destined to develop these aging and oral health issues. Talk to Dr. Erickson about preventative oral health measures you can do to help you maintain a healthier smile as the years go by.