Everybody reaches an age when they start getting cavities even if they haven’t had to deal with them in years. As people get older, they enter the second round of cavity risk period. One of the most common causes is dry mouth. And although dry mouth is not a common condition that comes with age, it is a general side effect of more than 500 medication, from medication for allergies and asthma to drugs that regulate high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anxiety, depression, pain, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
That is why it is crucial to tell your dentist what medication you are taking. Dentists can recommend you similar medication that has the same beneficial effects like the one you are taking and without the dry mouth side-effects. In additions, they can help relieve your dry mouth symptoms and keep cavities away.
Standard dry mouth recommendation
If you suffer from dry mouth you can try to:
- Use over-the-counter oral moisturizers, like mouthwash or spray.
- Consult your dentist to change the medication you are taking or its dosages.
- Try to drink more water. You can carry a bottle with you and not wait until you are thirsty to lubricate your mouth.
- Purchase a humidifier to help keep the air
- Use sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.
- You can also ask your dentist to apply fluoride gel or varnish to help protect your teeth from
Many elderly people suffer from periodontal disease (periodontal disease). This is caused by the bacteria from the plaque. The plaque irritates the gums, making them red, swollen and more likely to bleed. It is a painless condition and because of this people don’t become aware of it until it’s too late. In the advanced stage of periodontal disease, the gums, bone and ligaments that support the teeth will be destroyed and will lead to tooth loss. That is why a lot of elderly have dentures and partial dentures. But after this condition advances past a certain point it is nearly impossible to stop it, and you will lose all your teeth.
The American Cancer Society states that there are 35,000 new cases of mouth, tongue and throat cancer each year. The average age of people diagnosed with cancer is 62. That is why it is important to do regular dental visits, and if you are over 55, you can ask your dentist if there are any signs of early stages of oral cancer. Oral cancer does not cause pain, and an early detection could save your life. Typical symptoms could include open sores, reddish or white patches, changes in the tongue, lips and lining of the mouth which lasts more than two weeks.
In the second part of the article, you will learn about other conditions that concern you when you have reached a certain age.