Seniors are more likely to experience trouble with lost teeth, denture care, discoloration, and periodontal disease. Understanding the hazards that are unique to seniors will help you get a better idea of how to address and prevent these issues.

Bad Breath

Seniors often struggle with bad breath, which can make social situations uncomfortable. It’s important to understand that bad breath isn’t a symptom that stands on its own. There’s an underlying cause that you need to address, which can help you eliminate this issue. Dry mouth and periodontal disease can both contribute to bad breath.

Poor dental hygiene is another leading cause. You should see your dentist twice a year, and brush and floss daily to keep your teeth clean. If you have dentures, make sure you’re as vigilant about cleaning them as you would be about real teeth. Plaque can build up on both dentures and teeth, and this is a major contributor to unpleasant breath.

Tooth Loss

Tooth loss is a common problem among seniors. On average, patients over the age of 65 have 18.9 teeth remaining. Over 27 percent of seniors have no remaining teeth. Smoking and poor dental hygiene are major contributors to tooth loss in this age group. See your dentist in Kennewick regularly to decrease your chances of losing teeth. If you do lose a tooth, visit your dentist as soon as possible to explore options that will help preserve your ability to eat, talk, and smile comfortably, such as a tooth implant.

Tooth Discoloration

A slight darkening of the teeth is a natural effect of aging. While proper dental care can help prevent this, some discoloration may be inevitable. Avoid tobacco products, coffee, soda, and tea to help keep your teeth as white as possible. If you’re not happy with the appearance of your teeth, you may want to talk to your dentist about cosmetic services that can help. Teeth whitening services or permanent dental veneers can help you achieve the look you’re after.

As you age, it’s important to keep these potential risks in mind. Getting older may increase some risk factors, but you can still enjoy a bright, healthy smile with the right care and help from your dentist.

Age in and of itself is not a dominant or sole factor in determining oral health. However, certain medical conditions, such as arthritis in the hands and fingers, may make brushing or flossing teeth difficult to impossible to perform. Drugs can also affect oral health and may make a change in your dental treatment necessary.

If you are a senior in the Tri-Cities area, contact us at Tri-City Dental Care to schedule and appointment today.

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