Oral hygiene in elderly people

The oral health problems affect virtually all seniors. Just look at the data of the World Health Organization, which indicate that about 30% of people in the population group between 65 and 74 years of age do not have natural teeth. This may be due to the fact that nearly 100% of adults have some dental caries, a problem that if left untreated can lead to the loss of the piece.

However, there are other factors, among which is the aging process itself, which affect oral health in the elderly.

Causes of oral problems in the third age

One of the main enemies of the mouth of the elderly is their own age. The aging process determines the state of the gums and teeth that, if they have not been properly cared for during the previous years, will already present a problem such as decay.

It is also common for there to be a retraction of the gums, which causes the root of the tooth to be more exposed, with less support tissue and, therefore, with less support and more likely to be lost.

To these situations are added other factors that affect the oral health of older adults such as:

Lack of hygiene: problems of mobility or dexterity, forgetfulness, or simple laziness, result in not following the appropriate hygienic recommendations, which causes various disorders and infections.

Taking medicines: some drugs, such as diuretics, anxiolytics, or anti-inflammatories, among others, cause a reduction in the production of saliva, which is responsible for protecting the teeth and gums. Also some medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, cause side effects in the oral cavity.

Exposure to toxic agents: smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages affects oral health, especially among older people, who may already have weakened.

Suffering certain diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis, among others, have among their symptoms conditions in the oral cavity. In addition, suffering from dementia, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease, hinders or prevents the patient from following proper dental hygiene. On the other hand, those who have a hiatus hernia with gastric reflux may present a deterioration of tooth enamel due to the acidity of the gastric juices.