4 Surprising Dangers of Poor Dental Health for Seniors
Poor dental health can result in various health problems, not just dental ones. Our dentist shares the risks if poor oral health for seniors.
Dental health care for seniors is a concern for ageing individuals and their families. People are more likely to experience dental issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss as they age.
Fortunately, there are steps seniors can take to combat age-related dental issues and maintain good oral health. Through regular check-ups, proper dietary habits, and a commitment to daily oral hygiene, seniors can successfully manage and prevent dental problems.
This article will provide valuable information on how seniors can protect their smiles and stay healthy through proper dental care. Additionally, we will discuss the common dental concerns seniors face and how they can best address these issues. With the right dental practices, seniors can enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Reasons to prioritise geriatric dental care
1. Tooth decay
As people age, their teeth are more prone to decay and infection. Tooth decay can occur when acid is produced from plaque, which builds up on our teeth. These bacteria can be found in our mouths daily, but certain lifestyle habits can increase their growth.
For instance, seniors who regularly consume acidic beverages, such as soda and juice, are at a higher risk of tooth decay. In addition, frequent snacking or eating sugary or starchy foods can also increase the risk of tooth decay.
Fortunately, tooth decay can usually be prevented at home through daily brushing and flossing. If left untreated, tooth decay can cause irreversible damage to the teeth, including the formation of cavities (holes in the teeth).
Dry mouth is an especially concerning condition for seniors as a lack of saliva can lead to a higher risk of cavities. Saliva plays a crucial role in protecting teeth by providing natural antibacterial agents and aiding in the process of breaking down food particles.
Unfortunately, certain prescriptions are known to cause dry mouth in elderly individuals.[¹] Thus, seniors should monitor their dental health closely and be proactive in preventing and treating dental issues. Overcoming their fear of the dentist and going for regular check-ups is therefore important.
3. Gum disease
Gum disease, or periodontitis, is a serious condition—especially for seniors, as it can lead to severe consequences such as sore and bleeding gums, difficulty chewing, and even tooth loss. In some severe cases, it may necessitate the involvement of a dental surgery specialist in Singapore.
Unfortunately, many people may not know they have gum disease since the symptoms often do not appear until the disease has advanced. Regular dental exams are crucial to ensure optimal senior dental care and prevent gum disease. These exams can detect any signs of gum disease early on and help patients receive the necessary treatment to keep their oral health in check.
4. Tooth loss
Tooth loss is a major problem among seniors, with almost half of adults aged 65 or above losing all their natural teeth.[²] It can have a detrimental effect on nutrition, as seniors with missing teeth often struggle to eat and enjoy fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables.
If tooth loss is not addressed promptly, it can lead to other health problems, such as malnutrition and poor overall health. Therefore, it is essential to seek professional dental care to reduce the risk of tooth loss in older adults and ensure they can maintain an adequate, nutritious diet.
As seniors age, they are more likely to experience dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Thus, it is essential for them and their families to take proactive steps to maintain good dental health.
Regular check-ups with a dentist allow for early detection of potential issues and prompt treatment. In addition, proper dietary habits and daily oral hygiene can help seniors fight age-related dental problems. By committing to these preventive measures, seniors can protect their smiles and maintain good oral health.
At Far East Dental, we provide quality dental care that meets all our patients’ needs. We understand the importance of regular check-ups and preventive care for seniors and are committed to providing services tailored to their unique needs.
We also offer specialised dental services, from orthodontics (braces and Invisalign clear aligners) to endodontics (root canal treatments), prosthodontics (crowns and bridges), and oral surgery (implants and surgery). Some dental procedures which require surgery, such as dental implants, or wisdom tooth extraction. Contact us today at hotline (+84 28) 22 44 8888 / (+84)925 249 249 (Whatsapp) to learn more.