A common misconception is that tooth loss is caused by aging. The truth is, tooth loss is the result of gum disease. Teeth are meant to last a lifetime and can, barring extenuating circumstances, with routine dental checkups and proper home care. However, aging does have an indirect affect on teeth, presenting seniors with a unique set of oral health issues. If you are suffering from age-related oral or dental health problems, Drs. Wager and Evans’ Reno, NV, dental practice, provides a range of services to senior patients.
Oral Health Issues
With age comes various maladies that may affect the health of your teeth, including type 2 diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. For instance, diabetics are more likely to suffer from gum disease because of high sugar levels in their saliva. A diabetic with arthritis may find it hard to brush and floss, putting their teeth at high risk. Certain medications can promote tooth decay, birth control, aspirin, and chemotherapy included. It is estimated that nearly 40% of the population regularly ingest at least one medicine that can damage their teeth.
Seniors should be aware that they are at risk for:
- Darkened teeth: Teeth can darken over the course of a lifetime from stain-causing foods, and beverages like wine.
- Dry mouth: Medications, above the shoulder radiation, and certain diseases can cause dry mouth.
- Thrush: Compromised immune systems can result in the overgrowth of bacterial fungus in the mouth.
- Diminished sense of taste: Taste buds become impaired from age, medications, or disease.
- Root decay: Receding gums are often caused by age and leave the tooth root unprotected and vulnerable to decay.
- Tooth loss: The major cause of tooth loss is gum disease.
- Degenerative bone loss: Missing teeth cause the jawbone to gradually deteriorate.
- Gum disease: Common in older people because it’s caused by diseases such as diabetes, and poor dental health.
- Oral cancer. Most commonly occurs in people over 40 years of age and indicated by mouth sores that fail to heal, or white, or red spots in the oral cavity.
It’s not age that determines oral health but rather the infirmities that come with age. Therefore, it is important for seniors to attend routine checkups and brush twice, floss, and rinse with an anti-bacterial mouthwash daily.
About Your Reno Dentists
Dr. William Wager, Dr. Brian Evans, and our highly experienced team at Wager Evans Dental are devoted to our patients and their families, and dedicated to providing first-rate dental care in a comfortable, inviting environment. Located in Reno, we proudly welcome residents from Spanish Springs, Sparks, Incline Village, Dayton, Fernley, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation or your next dental appointment, visit our office, or contact us today by calling (775) 829-7700.