If by now you were blessed with healthy teeth and suddenly you have started developing cavities, you may wonder why it is so. The fact is, with age we enter the next round of cavity prone period of our life. One of the commonest causes of cavities in older individuals is dry mouth. Dry mouth is actually not an essential part of aging. But it is one of the side-effects of over 500 medications, including those for allergies and asthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression or anxiety, pain, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. So, you will now understand the importance of telling your dentist about all your current medications. Your dentist can then recommend solutions for your dry mouth symptoms and thereby prevent cavities. Some common recommendations are:
- Using OTC oral moisturizers, like a mouthwash or a spray
- Consult your physician about changing the medication or its dosage
- Increasing water intake. Carrying a water bottle always and not waiting for feeling thirsty to drink water. This will keep your mouth always lubricated
- Chewing sugar-free lozenges or gum to boost production of saliva
- Avoiding foods that irritate dry mouth.
- Examples are alcohol, coffee, carbonated soft drinks, acidic fruit juices
- Your dentist may even apply a gel of fluoride or varnish to safeguard your teeth from cavities
Many older individuals suffer from gum disease or periodontal disease, because of the bacteria in plaque. In this, gums are irritated, swollen and are likely to bleed. A worrisome fact is this condition is often painless till it reaches an advanced stage, and so remains unheeded. In that case, gums can start getting separated from teeth and form deep spaces named pockets, where food particles and plaque get collected. In advanced stage of the disease, gums, ligaments and bone that support teeth are eventually destroyed and teeth are lost. Gum disease can be prevented by visiting your dentist and get a dental checkup regularly.
The American Cancer Society has found that there are 35,000 oral cancer cases annually and the average age of the patients is 62. Oral cancer too can be prevented or treated by regular dental checkup because of early diagnosis. Oral cancer is often painless and therefore it’s important to detect it early.
Should an Antibiotic be Taken before a Dental Procedure?
You should not only tell your dentist about the medicines you are taking but also should tell if you have a heart condition or an artificial joint. You might think it’s irrelevant. But these are conditions that carry high risk of infection and an antibiotic may have to be taken before any dental procedure.
How to Help a Disabled Elderly Loved One?
If you have an elderly loved one in your household who is disabled, you may help them keep their oral health by:
- Reminding them of keeping their moth clean by brushing and flossing
- Taking them regularly to your dentist
If these adults are facing problems in brushing or flossing, talk to your dentist who can give helpful tips. Some dentists are specialized in caring for disabled and elderly.
DentistsNorwich.co.uk are dentists in Norwich who offer only the best in modern dental treatments. They enhance your smile and boost your confidence, along with making your mouth healthy. They perform various types of dental procedures and consulting them for any of your dental problems can be extremely helpful to you.