AGING AND DENTAL HEALTH

aging and dental health

aging and dental health

Geriatric dentistry entails the study and monitoring of normal changes in the human oral structure due to aging. In the geriatric population, dental health is  part of the physical, mental and functional transformation that occurs.. We know that teeth are not lost due to aging alone, but their functional capacity is reduced, along with a reduction of the density of   time. As such the consistency of tooth support decreases, increasing the onset of periodontal diseases.

WHY GOES AGING AFFECT HEALTH?

From birth to old aging, certain changes occur over time:

  • cells are replaced more slowly as time passes.
  • the tissues become thinner and less elastic.
  • bones have less density and are therefore not as  strong.
  • the immune system decreases and is slower to respond.

Research  shows that structural changes and oral age-related morphological issues prevail:

  • Increased tooth sensitivity.
  • darkening or wear of the teeth.
  • xerostomia.
  • Increased periodontal alterations.
  • edentulous.
  • hypogeusia.
  • dysgeusia.
  • degeneration of TMJ cartilage.

WHY IS THERE INCREASED TOOTH SENSITIVITY IN AGING?

Over the years, the most superficial layer of the tooth, the enamel, wears off naturally as a result of chewing or due to poor dental position and friction, thereby exposing the dentin.hen semi-exposed, transludes the yellow color giving a dark tooth appearance. As the pulp is semi-exposed, it will also generate a painful response due to inflammatory changes, varying in intensity according to the thermal changes that occur in the oral cavity.

WHY IS THE MOUTH DRY WITHOUT SALIVA OR XEROSTOMIA IN AGING?

Dry mouth without saliva in patients over 65 years of age is generally caused by the adverse effect of medications taken over the years such as anti-acne, anti-seizure, and antidepressant drugs. Dry mouth ensues from taking antihistamines; antihypertensive, anti-parkinson, antipsychotic medications,; beta-blockers, diuretics; and having chemotherapy, radiation therapy, diabetes, and/or hepatitis c.

Saliva is essential for cleaning the teeth: it is called autoclysis. As saliva decreases in the oral cavity, leaving teeth unprotected, it increases the probability of tooth decay, as well as generating the thinning and retraction of the gums.

WHY DO PERIODONTAL ALTERATIONS OCCUR IN AGING?

This condition is due to the displacement of the gingival margin apical to the cementum, enamel junction with exposure of the root surface or exposure of the root surface.

WHAT IS AN EDENTULOUS PATIENT?

Edentulous is understood to describe the patient who lost a tooth. Many of the elderly lose some or all of their teeth as a consequence of  problems in the hard and periodontal tissues.  With the total or partial loss of a tooth, not only is the masticatory function affected, but also  phonation, self-esteem and facial aesthetics. A high percentage of older adults present the absence of at least half of their teeth while another percentage is totally edentulous.

WHY DOES THE PERCEPTION OF FLAVORS DECREASE IN AGING?

Over the years, the tongue has a decreased number of taste buds, decreasing the perception of flavor Additionally the presence of sublingual varicose veins or varicosities is also observed,  called hypogeusia.

IS THERE A TASTE DISORDER AMONG THE AGING?

Dysgeusia or taste disorder manifests itself in the form of an unpleasant sensation that persists in the mouth, people who have a taste alteration report presenting a perception of nauseating, rancid, metallic or salty taste,

HOW TO PREVENT DENTAL PROBLEMS IN AGING?

The elderly have special needs that make dietary habits different from other age groups. But most age-related dental problems can be prevented. Seniors should start with a diet shown to have a great effect on health -both in the short and long term. It will include fruits and vegetables consuming more water.

Not only does it affect your oral health, it also dramatically affects your overall health. 

CONTACT US

If you have any of these problems and need better guidance, do not hesitate to visit Channel Island Family Dental.

At Channel Island Family Dental, we focus on providing you with a timely diagnosis. In addition, dentists in Oxnard, Ventura, Port Hueneme, Newbury Park and Santa Paula  will  provide you with the best treatment to help you regain your oral health and restore your confidence in smiling again.

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