Oral Problems in the Elderly

Oral Problems in the Elderly

Know the oral problems in the elderly. In this post, we tell you more about the subject and we give you some tips to avoid those inconveniences that arise in the teeth and mouth with aging.

Changes that happen in the mouth with aging

As people get older, it is normal for the body to begin to change and the teeth go through the same process. Age is an important factor in what happens in different human systems.

The changes that happen in the oral cavity when people get older are:

  • The enamel begins to wear out. This is a proper sign of aging. It begins to lose thickness and translucency, which gives the teeth a yellowish color. They may even start cracking.
  • The pulp starts decreasing, in addition, the number of blood vessels in the gums is also reduced. This makes the mouth more prone to infection problems. It is also becomes less reactive to external stimuli.
  • Dentin becomes much more permeated. This happens because of enamel wear. And it begins to produce more secondary dentin.
  • Production of saliva decreases. This plays an important role in the protection of the mouth. This can make people more likely to suffer from oral diseases.

Oral problems in the elderly

There are several oral problems that occur frequently in the elderly. Since the body and the oral cavity also undergo changes. Some of the most common diseases are:

Tooth sensitivity

There are many causes of tooth sensitivity and one of them is aging. This is because the gums begin to contract. That is, they go down and move away from the teeth. This exposes the teeth much more, especially in areas that are not protected by enamel. This causes the mouth to be more sensitive to external stimuli such as cold, hot foods or drinks and even sugar. To solve it, you can use toothpaste, specially created for sensitive teeth. But if the problem persists it is advisable to go to the dentist.

Tooth loss

About 20% of the elderly suffer from this problem. The loss of teeth not only affects confidence, but makes it difficult to do everyday things like chewing or talking. This occurs because the teeth have less protection and eventually become damaged or worn. That is why many older adults choose to use dentures or implants. That way, they can carry on their daily activities easily.

Dry mouth

As we mentioned, over the years, saliva production decreases. This is further enhanced because that many elderlies take medications that could cause dry mouth leaving the teeth a little more unprotected.


Other oral problems that elderly people may have are cavities. Enamel wear allows teeth to be more prone to them. This can be aggravated if there is no good hygiene. The oral health in older people must go hand in hand with a more complete hygiene routine. Especially since tooth decay can become bigger problems for the elderly.

Periodontal diseases

This problem can begin to manifest from the age of 40. The most common signs are bleeding, inflammation of the gums, bad breath and bad taste in the mouth. Periodontal diseases can be prevented with good dental hygiene. It should be noted that gum problems can lead to gingivitis or periodontics. So, it is always important that if you bleed easily go to the dentist for a review.


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