Old age, many prescription and OTC drugs, as well as (often) a multitude of general health issues all place elders in danger of oral conditions. Missing preventive visits may turn into necessary treatment, raising costs.
Here are some common issues that may arise quickly and can be a threat to overall health.
Infections in the mouth can lead to heart trouble and pneumonia
Some elders have trouble brushing properly, which means their oral health heavily relies on regular dental visits. What’s more, even the best home care is not equal to cleanings and checkups. Without professional help, patients are at risk of cavities and periodontitis.
Infection, especially when present for a long time, allows for the introduction of bacteria into the bloodstream. This type of emergency has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, lung issues, and other conditions.
Tooth loss may contribute to malnutrition and a weaker immune system
Advanced tooth decay and gum disease are also primary causes of tooth loss. This means dentures, especially partials, may no longer fit properly. If supporting teeth are lost, patients may not be able to wear their dentures at all.
A soft, starchy diet poor in fruits and vegetables may follow. Low blood sugar resulting from this makes patients vulnerable to lower immunity and slower healing.
Lack of denture inspection can force repairs and replacement
A dental exam includes checking the fit and condition of prostheses. Since most seniors wear some kind of tooth replacement, they are in danger of this issue. When dentures are worn-down or fit poorly, they are likely to deteriorate further.
This can make elders likely to reach for DIY repair solutions. Honing the skill of making prostheses work properly takes years. Fixing it yourself may lead to necessary replacement.
Unidentified lesions and gum irritation might induce oral cancer
Ill-fitting dentures are a hazard to the soft tissues in your mouth. You are at higher risk of food getting trapped, decomposing, and causing bacterial infections. The result can be lumps, lesions, fungal infections, and tissue overgrowth.
If these problems are not caught early, severe consequences may follow, including oral cancer. This is even worse for patients who smoke cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, who also tend to be among the older demographic.