Oral Diseases Common to the Elderly – The mouth is indeed one part of the body that is often infected and attacked by various diseases ranging from ordinary diseases to deadly diseases.
As we age, we are more likely to experience various problems with the mouth and teeth. This is not a natural part of aging, but rather a side effect of drugs and habits. For this reason, it is very important to have regular visits to the dentist. If not, then the elderly will be more susceptible to various problems in the mouth.
1. Sensitive teeth
Many daily activities can erode teeth over time, which makes the tooth surface more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. This is especially the case if a person has decayed or if the root of the tooth is exposed.
If you experience this problem, you should immediately make a visit to the dentist to avoid further complications and expensive treatment. Patients with sensitive teeth can sometimes use special toothpastes to help relieve pain from tooth sensitivity.
2. Gum disease
Many older adults have gum problems caused by bacteria in plaque, which irritate the gums, making them swollen, red, and easy to bleed. One of the reasons why gum disease is so common in the elderly is that the condition is usually painless until an advanced stage. However, if left untreated, gum disease can damage the gums, bones, and ligaments that support teeth, causing them to fall out.
Fortunately, through regular visits to the dentist, gum disease can be treated or prevented completely. So, don’t be lazy to check your teeth regularly.
3. Oral cancer
There are about 35,000 cases of mouth, throat and tongue cancer diagnosed each year. The average age of people diagnosed with this cancer is 62 years.
Regular visits to the dentist are important. In its early stages, oral cancer is painless. Early detection can save lives. During a dental visit, the doctor will check for signs of oral cancer. Some of the symptoms you may see include open sores, white or red patches, and changes to the lips, tongue, and lining of the mouth that last for more than two weeks.
Red, swollen, and bleeding gums every time you brush or floss are a possible sign that you have gingivitis. If left unchecked, this condition can get worse.
Inflammation of the gums has a close relationship with other serious health conditions, such as respiratory problems, diabetes, stroke, and even heart disease. Therefore, it is important not to let the problem with the gums.
Gingivitis that is left untreated can progress to periodontitis, a gum disease that causes infection of the gums, jawbone, and ligaments that support teeth. When the gum detaches from the tooth, it forms a deep pocket, creating an open space for plaque filled with bacteria to collect.
Left untreated, there is a higher risk of receding gums, loose teeth, jawbone damage, and tooth loss. For this reason, patients with this condition are recommended to visit the dentist in order to get support for tooth structure and prevent further periodontal disease.