Are you a senior citizen or the caretaker of a senior? If so, it is important to understand proper oral healthcare. Some individuals may assume that seniors do not have to go to dental appointments like their younger counterparts. However, seniors need to go to dental appointments too. There are many issues that can occur when a routine dental regimen is not followed. The following points will help you recognize some potential consequences of ignoring proper dental hygiene.
Dental pain in the elderly can present itself as anything from mild to severe. Some seniors may not be sensitive to pain or be able to communicate that they are in pain due to mental decline. This is why routine dental visits are essential. Sometimes cavities may be the reason for pain. Keep in mind that not all cavities are black or brown in appearance, and even white cavities can cause pain due to deterioration in enamel. Another source of pain that can occur stems from improperly fitting or old dentures.
Loose Fillings or Crowns
These restorative solutions can loosen after years of wear. When the protective material is loosened, it is ideal to get them replaced. This is because food and sugary drinks can enter underneath the surfaces. The materials can worsen the existing decay because the patient may not be able to brush the affected teeth properly.
Abscesses can occur on the gum line. If they burst, it can lead to a dental emergency. This is because the pus-filled abscesses can get into the blood and travel to delicate organs. This is something that is serious enough to result in death if the elderly individual has health issues. It is also worth noting that some seniors have health issues such as diabetes and cardiovascular issues that can be negatively impacted by bad teeth.
Loss of Teeth
If teeth are not properly cared for, a dentist might recommend extracting teeth. It is also possible for damaged teeth to loosen over time, resulting in the teeth falling out when hard foods are eaten. Also keep in mind that some seniors have mobility issues. A slip and fall incident could result in someone getting oral damage. This why it is wise to look at the teeth of an elderly individual who falls, especially if you notice blood. It is ideal to consider a dentist visit too.
A dentist can provide you with additional reasons that senior oral health care is important. They can also assist with proper denture fitting or dental implant selection.