Our body only gets one set of permanent teeth. And just like all other body parts, teeth age over time and face many problems later in life. Oral disease is more likely among seniors, and the daily wear and tear on teeth over many years can cause mild to severe issues. Missing and worn teeth might even require bridges or dentures to help make life easier. This means that seniors must take especially good care of their teeth through proper care and treatment.
Concerns as Teeth Age
Think about how much work the teeth do throughout a day. Now compound those days into many years, and you’ll start to see how much wear and tear the teeth receive after 60 years or so. Here are just a few of the mouth concerns that older people face:
● Tooth yellowing or darkening
● Gum disease
● Root damage
● Bacterial infections
● Dry mouth
● Bad breath
● Tooth loss
● Problems with the jaw or cheek muscles
Veneers, Crowns, and Bridges
Sometimes, problems arise not from poor oral health, but from feeling self conscious about missing or imperfect teeth. Teeth can become yellow, uneven, gapped, or chipped over time.
Aging dental patients may choose to fix these problems with devices to improve their confidence and their bite. A veneer is a thin piece of porcelain that is placed over the existing teeth to cover any problems and give a full, even smile. Crowns and bridges are other permanent options that are used to help with aesthetic issues. A crown is placed over a single broken tooth to help it appear more natural. A bridge is used to fix several broken teeth, sort of like multiple crowns that are connected, and is permanently cemented into the mouth.
If many teeth are missing and tooth damage and loss continue to be issues, then dentures may be used. There are two types of dentures: complete and partial. Complete are used when all existing teeth are lost, while a partial denture can be used in conjunction with existing teeth. Dentures serve multiple purposes. Not only do they help to make a more natural smile, but they also help the mouth and jaw to keep their shape as the body ages. Also, they make eating normal foods easier for seniors. Dentures must be custom-fit by a dentist for proper look and wear. Also, special care must be taken with dentures to prolong their life and prevent bacterial infections.
Like most oral health matters, senior dental concerns are easily addressed and prevented. Make sure to get regular dental check-ups with Winnipeg dentists to help catch problems early. Routine brushing and flossing are more important during older age. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can help with gum disease and infections, as well as breath and dry mouth problems. There are affordable and comprehensive dental insurance options for seniors, making it easy to keep up on dental visits. Good oral hygiene and collaboration with a dentist can ensure a healthy smile for life.