Common Dental Problems for Senior Citizens | Lee Dentistry Oxford

August 21st is National Senior Citizen Day! In 2017, approximately 47 million seniors living in the United States. This number is expected to exponentially increase to 98 million by 2060. Though we can feel like we can be 21 forever, our bodies and time don’t seem to get that message. Remember when you were a kid thinking that when you’re an adult you wouldn’t have to go to the dentist, but then you became an adult and realized you still have to go? It turns out, that it works the same way when you go from an adult into your golden years – you still have to go to the dentist!

Common Dental Problems for Senior Citizens:

1. Untreated Cavity 1 in 5 senior citizens has an untreated cavity. A cavity is a hole in the tooth caused by acids damaging the enamel. Untreated cavities can go as far as to damage the pulp in the tooth, which then may warrant the need to remove the tooth.

2. Tooth Loss & DenturesAccording to the NIH, while the average senior aged 65 and older has about 18.90 remaining teeth, 27.27% of them have no remaining teeth. Periodontal Disease, the next section, is the leading cause of tooth loss in seniors aged 65 and older.

3. Gum DiseasePeriodontal disease has varying levels. Gingivitis – inflammation of the gums – is an early form of periodontal disease. When Gingivitis is left untreated, it could lead to the infection of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth, hence tooth loss. A common cause of Gingivitis is plaque not being removed from the gum line leading to gum irritation.

Healthy Dental Habits for Senior Citizens:
Since tooth loss is prevalent in the senior citizen demographic, many wear dentures, whether they be full or partial, it is highly important that dentures are cleaned daily. It is also important to remember to use products specifically made for dentures. Products for natural teeth tend to be too abrasive for the dentures and could cause damage to the denture. To keep the remaining teeth healthy, it is important to drink water with fluoride. Fluoride is a natural defense against cavities. Lastly, don’t forget to see your dentist. Nerve endings when you age tend to become less sensitive, so if something feels wrong, go get it checked out.

Senior Dental Care in Oxford, MS
For the best dental care in Oxford and the surrounding area, come see us at Lee Family Dentistry! If you’re a parent bringing your kids in for a back to school check-up, think about bringing their grandparents along and making it a family day. We offer flexible and easy scheduling. Use our online tool or give a call at (662) 546-1143 to schedule your appointment today!