Most people assume that children are in the age group which gets the most cavities, and then that tapers off as we reach adulthood. Unfortunately, researchers say that 93% of seniors over 65 have dental decay.
Seniors suffer higher rates of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, mouth infections and tooth loss.
There are at least six major factors which increase their risk of getting cavities.
Older adults often have receding gums which expose the roots of the teeth to decay. Brushing teeth with a hard or medium-bristled toothbrush can lead to gum recession, as can brushing teeth too vigorously.
Seniors should only use soft-bristled toothbrushes and refrain from scrubbing their teeth too hard. Regular dental cleanings by a hygienist are essential. When bacteria-laden plaque and tartar aren’t cleaned regularly, they remain under the gum line where gum disease may result.
As we age, decline in our overall health can affect our teeth too. The immune system becomes weaker and it’s easier to develop serious illness.
Health conditions more common to seniors include Arthritis, Stroke, Heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer. Studies show that diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, can contribute to dental conditions, including cavities.
Some seniors develop bad habits over the years. For example, brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush instead of using a soft-bristled electric toothbrush leads to gum recession and decay over time.
Other seniors don’t have the ability to take adequate care of their teeth due to arthritis in their hands, or they’ve had a stroke and can no longer use their dominant hand.
With conditions that come with age, many seniors have to take prescription medications.
One of the side-effects of commonly used medications is dry mouth. Saliva acts as a necessary barrier against cavity-causing bacteria and acids in our mouth. Without that barrier, it’s far easier to develop cavities.
Without nutritious foods, we become susceptible to infections and things like dental decay.
Unfortunately, many seniors aren’t getting the nutrients they really need. They may not be able to cook for themselves like they used to or afford adequate amounts of nutritious fresh produce. Chewing might be more difficult due to missing teeth, pain, or ill-fitting dentures.
According to The Canadian Health Measure Survey, over 50% of seniors don’t have dental insurance.
Because they’re on a fixed income, paying for dental treatment is difficult, if not impossible for some seniors.
Nosehill Dental dentists have treated many seniors and they understand the relationship between seniors’ dental health and their overall health.
Our dentists are strong advocates for prevention of problems for seniors: regular dental cleanings to remove plaque below the gum line, and thorough checkups to detect problems early. Their goal is to preserve seniors’ teeth and their smiles.
and Live Better
ALL INSURANCE ACCEPTED
PAYMENT INSTALMENTS ACCEPTED FOR MAJOR TREATMENTS
DENTIST Calgary NW
SERVING THE FOLLOWING COMMUNITIES:
Calgary NW, Nosehill, Ranchlands, Hawkwood,Arbour Lake, Scenic Acres, Silver Springs, Dalhousie.
Phone: (403) 241-1900
Fax: (403) 241-8839
Email: [email protected]
Monday: 8:00am - 7:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am - 7:00pm
Wednesday: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Thursday: 7:30am - 7:00pm
Friday: 8:00am - 4:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday / Statutory Holidays: Closed