According to the US Census, there are close to 40 million people in the country who are 65-years-old or older. It’s anticipated that by 2050, there will be close to 48 million older Americans. The dentists at Westermeier Martin Dental Care in Buffalo, New York explain that oral conditions and diseases are more common among this age group who may have grown up without the benefit of community water fluoridation or other fluoridated products. Dental healthcare for people in their sixties is something our dental staff cares about.
Individuals who are at an economic disadvantage or who lack dental or health insurance are at increased risk of poor dental health. There are also close to 25 percent of adults who are 60-years-old or older who don’t have their natural teeth. Having missing teeth can lead to health issues because of being unable to chew food. People who are missing teeth may avoid solid foods and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Older Americans experience dental decay on the crowns of their teeth and in the tooth roots. In fact, the American Dental Association noted that older adults might have more new tooth decay and at higher rates than in children. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are the biggest reasons for tooth loss in older adults.
It’s estimated that adults, aged 65 and older, have more severe cases of periodontal disease than younger adults. Men are more likely than women to suffer severe dental diseases and tooth loss. Oral cancers, diagnosed in more than 30,000 Americans annually, lead to close to 8,000 deaths annual. Oral cancers are typically diagnosed in older adults and the prognosis is poor if not caught early. Oral cancers can be caught during a routine, regular dental examination.
The type and amount of prescription and over-the-counter medications older Americans take contributes to dry mouth and this, in turn, can lead to tooth decay and ultimately tooth loss. Reduced saliva increases the risk for oral diseases; the reason for this is that saliva contains antimicrobial components and minerals that help rebuild tooth enamel. Dental healthcare for people in their sixties is important to help assure you are able to continue to eat healthy meals.
What can you do to maintain your oral health? Here is advice from the dentists at Westermeier Martin Dental Care in East Aurora and Amherst, New York.
If you’re a caregiver for an elderly family member, make certain you reinforce the importance of daily brushing and flossing. If your elderly family member wears dentures, make certain he or she is diligent in soaking them overnight to remove any food particles and bacteria.
Anyone having any concerns about their dental health should contact our office and schedule an appointment. We are accepting new patients and pride ourselves on working with high fear, high anxiety patients. Westermeier Martin Dental Care offers free sedation dentistry for our patients who request it. Call our office and schedule a dental appointment. If you’re a new patient, we provide a free dental examination and cleaning.