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Tooth deterioration is the leading cause of oral health problems at an older age. Plaques are caused by bacteria that create harm on the tooth enamel and form cavities. One of the reasons why elders are more prone to cavities is due to dry mouth. Saliva protects the teeth and eliminates bacterial growth. Dry mouth is a side effect of the medication, usually for hypertension, asthma, and depression.
Tooth loss is most common in older adults. 1 out of 5 adults that are 65 years of age and over have lost all their teeth, according to the CDC. Tooth loss can be affected by lack of nutrition since they cannot eat or enjoy most food options such as fruits and vegetables.
Gum disease occurs in 2 out of 3 seniors that are 65 years of age and over. Severe gum disease can lead to tooth loss, sores, bleeding gums, amongst many other health problems. Good senior dental care and regular dental exams can prevent periodontitis since many are not aware of the disease until it advances.
Diabetes occurs in the elderly due to over the year consuming high levels of sugar or genetically inherited from generation to generation. People with low blood sugar control are at very high risk for dental problems such as gum disease and inflammation.
Heart disease is also linked to oral health since inflammation caused by gum disease creates a higher risk of overall health. It is proven that gum disease can make certain heart conditions worse and increase the risk of stroke.
Oral Cancer in older adults is exceptionally high. The risk is even higher for those who smoke cigarettes, cigars and chew tobaccos. This is why it is always best to schedule regular dentist appointments to detect early oral cancer signs.