Are seniors at risk of tooth erosion?

Saliva production decreases as you get older, putting many seniors at a higher risk of tooth decay and tooth erosion. Saliva is needed to neutralize acids, so too little makes teeth vulnerable to acid attacks and seniors susceptible to dry mouth and erosion. Also, many medicines seniors take cause dry mouth.
Seniors are at greater risk for a number of oral health problems. Many older adults have gum, or periodontal disease, caused by the bacteria in plaque, which irritate the gums, making them swollen, red and more likely to bleed.

One reason gum disease is so widespread among adults is that it’s often a painless condition until the advanced stage. If left untreated, gums can begin to pull away from the teeth and form deepened spaces called pockets where food particles and more plaque may collect. Advanced gum disease can eventually destroy the gums, bone and ligaments supporting the teeth leading to tooth loss.

As we get older, we enter a second round of cavity prone years. One common cause of cavities in older adults is dry mouth. 

The good news is that with regular dental visits gum disease can be treated or prevented entirely.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.