Those Over 60 Still Need To Visit The Dentist

Those Over 60 Still Need To Visit The Dentist As you age, visiting the dentist may seem like less of a priority, especially for those that have had great oral health up until this point. The American Dental Association indicates that at least 20{3b0f9398becb40f4bdd8fe95c600d2c252c33730296b97da1b334948809cb5c4} of those older than 75 have not seen a dentist within the last five years. This is unfortunate because those over 60 are more susceptible to oral health issues, and should make an effort to visit their local dentist in Newbury Park, CA routinely.


More Susceptible To Cavities As We Age


Many older patients develop cavities when they age. They are especially prone to them because of dry mouth. Although the elderly are not prone to dry mouth just because of their age, it is a side effect of over 500 medications, including those commonly used to treat high blood presume, high cholesterol, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.

When our mouths are chronically dry, we suffer from a lack of saliva. Saliva is beneficial for washing away food and bacteria. Without it, bacteria can thrive, which leads to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.

A dentist can give advice to the elderly on avoiding dry mouth, such as drinking more water, using sugar-free gum, and keeping a humidifier around. They may also recommend or prescribe oral moisturizers to help combat the issue.


A Higher Risk Of Mouth Cancers


The American Cancer Society indicates that approximately 35,000 people are diagnosed with mouth, throat, and tongue cancer each year. The average age at diagnosis is 62, which is why it’s important to visit your dentist as you age. Your dentist will check for signs of oral cancer, especially if you are older and more susceptible to being diagnosed.

Initially, oral cancer is not painful, making early detection all the more important. By the time it does become painful, cancer’s effects may be too widespread. The earlier your dentist detects oral cancer, the greater chance you have of beating it.

Those who smoked or used chewing tobacco are at an especially higher risk of oral cancers, making their checkups all the more important. If you notice white patches, red patches, or sores that last longer than two weeks, consult your local dentist immediately.


Paying For Medical Care


For many elderly patients, it’s a shock to hear that Medicare and Medicaid do not cover their routine dental care. If you have not planned for this beforehand, it can be easy to avoid going to the dentist because the costs associated with doing so are too high. Without the proper care, a healthy mouth can be ruined in a matter of months.

You should begin planning for post-retirement dental care, so that is accessible as you age. Not only can you save money for this purpose, but you can also look into dental insurance plans, such as the ones offered by AARP. You can also consider a discount dental plan, which offers lower monthly fees than dental insurance does.