The average adult over the age of 50 has already lost three or more teeth due to damage acquired over time. Nevertheless, teeth retention among American adults has improved drastically in previous years, thanks to better oral cleaning products and improved dental practices.
In the list below, you will learn what are the biggest dental problems for people over 50.
1. Missing Teeth
Missing teeth may not be much of a health concern, if the teeth were extracted properly. The loss does present an inconvenience due to the increased difficulty of chewing and biting however. For some, it is more of an aesthetic concern, so they end up with dentures or a dental bridge. Dental implants are the best replacements for missing teeth, but the time needed to complete the entire phase of dental implant surgery may take more than nine months, not to mention that it is an expensive procedure.
2. Tooth Decay
The rise of tooth decay cases among adults in their 50s is attributed to naturally weakening enamel of the teeth. As the changes progress, the roots of the teeth become more vulnerable to cavities.
3. Dry Mouth
Adults over 50 are more prone to dry mouth and dehydration in general. As the saliva that contains phosphate and calcium coats the teeth to prevent demineralization, the teeth become more resistant to cavities, and other tooth and gum infections. Unfortunately, there are many reasons connected to aging that drastically affect saliva production negatively.
For instance, certain medications decrease saliva production. Gum problems, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, can also cause dry mouth. Smoking and decreased water intake are also common causes.
4. Gum Problems
Gingivitis and periodontitis are not uncommon among older people. Periodontitis, in particular, is commonly seen among the elderly, and those who had dental problems early on in life. The condition involves the deterioration of gum tissue. The spaces that develop within the gum tissue become places for bacteria to develop.
5. Tooth Crowding
Teeth at this age become more prone to plaque because the spaces between them become more narrow. This condition is known as teeth shifting. It is a natural phenomenon, that when not fixed early on, can cause tooth alignment problems.
6. Oral Cancer
The Oral Cancer Foundation says that this dreaded disease increases in occurrence as people age. Regular dental checkups with your Columbia Maryland dentist are an effective way to prevent development, and to notice any changes happening in the mouth.