Aging risk factors
The older you are, the greater your risk of developing diseases of the mouth. These may be contributing factors:
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia.
Lack of saliva is a common problem that may seem little more than a nuisance. But without adequate saliva to clean, disinfect and remineralize your teeth, you may develop multiple, rapidly advancing cavities and periodontal disease. Xerostomia is the result of numerous underlying causes, including certain medications or cancer treatments.
Your risk of developing periodontal disease increases if you have diabetes. It increases even more if your diabetes is poorly controlled. That’s because diabetes may weaken the resistance of your gum tissue to bacterial infection and plaque.
Researchers suspect a link between the loss of bone mineral density that occurs with osteoporosis and periodontal disease. Losing density in the bones that hold your teeth in place may help speed the degenerative process of periodontal disease.
Candidiasis, or oral thrush.
Common signs and symptoms of candidiasis are white patches in your mouth that can be wiped off, burning red lesions or scaling fissures at the corner of your mouth. Candidiasis is often caused by dry mouth or denture irritation.
Diseases and Conditions Affecting Self-Care
People who have neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s disease, may have difficulty caring for their own teeth and gums. Oral care also may be difficult if you have limited arm or hand movement due to a disease or condition such as stroke, arthritis or Parkinson’s disease.
Medications and Treatments
Many common drugs, such as antihistamines, diuretics, painkillers, certain antidepressants, some high blood pressure medications, can cause various side effects, such as dry mouth, soft tissue changes, taste changes and gingival hyperplasia, which is an overgrowth and inflammation of your gums.
Your dentist may recommend treatments such as professional dental cleaning, antibiotics or surgical removal of the overgrowth to treat gingival hyperplasia.
Bisphosphonate drugs used to treat certain types of cancer and osteoporosis have been linked with a condition called osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), in which the soft tissues of your mouth become swollen and your jawbone becomes exposed.
Studies show that bisphosphonate users are more prone to developing ONJ after having a tooth removed or experiencing dental trauma, especially cancer patients who require stronger doses.
Tell your dentist if you’re taking bisphosphonate drugs so that your treatment can be modified if needed. Chemotherapy or radiation to the head or neck also can damage or destroy oral tissues, resulting in salivary malfunction, tooth decay and bone destruction.
Wear and Tear
Wear and tear — After a lifetime of use, even healthy gums can recede. If your tooth roots are exposed by gum recession, there’s an increased risk of developing root decay.
Whitby Dental Office
If you are experiencing any aging risk factors, feel free to visit Downtown Whitby Dentistry where principal dentist – Dr. Jamshid Nematollahi, can assist you with your concerns.
Downtown Whitby Dentistry and their dental team have been helping patients of all ages downtown Whitby Ontario.