Dental Issues for Older Adults

The time of life before the senior years and after young adulthood present some unique oral health issues. At around age 50, many people begin to notice some dental problems previously never experienced. It is important to be vigilant and alert so these can be dealt with soon after onset. Among the most common conditions at this age include gum disease, missing teeth and a dry mouth.

The first stage of gum disease is referred to as gingivitis. Because this is the only stage of the disease that is reversible, it is important to catch it early. If not treated, gingivitis can evolve into a more serious and destructive condition called periodontitis. Keep in mind it is possible to have gum disease with no warning signs. This is another reason regular dental checkups and gum examinations are so important.

Treatment depends on the type of disease and how far it has progressed. Diligent oral care at home is vital to prevent periodontal disease from becoming more serious or worsening. Brush twice a day, floss between your teeth daily, eat a healthy diet, limit sweets and make sure to see your dentist regularly.

The typical adult between age 20 to 64 has three or more decayed or missing teeth. If you are missing any of your teeth, there are ample reasons to correct this issue. First of all, having a large space between the teeth may affect how you speak and eat. And even if the displaced tooth is not noticeable, a missing molar can affect your chewing ability. Your remaining teeth can then shift out of place, leading to loss of bone. With the dental advances we have today, there is no reason to suffer from missing teeth.

Many older adults deal with lack of saliva or dry mouth. This can be due to an underlying condition or medications. This is not serious by itself but taking care of your teeth and gums and regular dental visits are important when dry mouth is present. Without sufficient saliva, tooth decay and other oral health issues become more frequent. Tell your dentist what medications you are taking and any other information about your health that may help identify the cause of your dry mouth. Most cases can be treated successfully without too much effort.

For all your general dentistry needs in the Chicago area call the office of Dr. Scott Malik at (847) 724-1771 to make an appointment. Dr. Malik and his professional staff can help you keep your mouth and teeth looking and feeling their best. Visit their website to discover all the services they provide.