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Tooth Loss in Elderly

A tooth is considered an organ that could last a lifetime providing good oral hygiene. Poor oral hygiene may cause tooth loss in seniors and may increase the risk of other oral health problems.

1 Pages
7 May 2020
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Tooth Loss in Elderly

 

A tooth is considered an organ that could last a lifetime providing good oral hygiene.

Poor oral hygiene may cause tooth loss in seniors and may increase the risk of other oral health problems.

Causes of tooth loss in elderly

  • Improper oral hygiene since a young age induces bacteria in dental plaque to produce acid on the tooth surface. This acid leads to a loss of minerals from the tooth and becomes tooth decay. If it spreads to the nerve and cannot be treated, the tooth will eventually be removed.
  • The deposition of dental plaque for a long time may be calcified and form tartar on the teeth. Tartar is an ideal surface for the attachment of bacteria. Then, the toxin will be produced from bacteria and causes gum inflammation which is called gingivitis. Without proper treatment, gingivitis will develop to periodontitis. Bones and soft tissue around the teeth will be damaged which is one of the causes of tooth loss.
  • Some seniors have medical conditions and have to take medicines. These medicines may decrease salivary secretion, xerostomia (dry mouth), and lead to rampant dental caries which can cause tooth loss.
  • People believe that they should to see dentists only if they have dental problems. On the other hand, a regular dental check-up every 6-12 months is generally recommended.

 

Effects of tooth loss

Tooth loss has a direct effect on chewing, biting, and swallowing that may cause malnutrition in seniors and affect overall health, having weak immune systems and getting sick easier. Furthermore, lacking support from teeth might decrease vertical facial height, or cause wrinkles. They may also have unclear pronunciation, and concern about socializing.

 

Taking care of oral health

Oral health begins with clean teeth. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth for two minutes at a time, at least two times a day. And use dental floss to clean the space between your teeth.

 

Schedule regular dental cleanings and exams every 6-12 months to prevent gum disease and other oral health problems. In the meantime, contact your dentist if you notice any signs or symptoms that could suggest an oral health problem.

 

If you are wearing dentures, remember to clean and brush all surfaces of the denture after every meal to remove bacteria and food particles. When not wearing, dentures should be placed in denture cleanser soaking solution or water.  A yearly checkup is also needed for any necessary adjustment.

 

Remember, early detection and treatment of the problem with your gum, teeth and mouth can help ensure a lifetime of good oral health.

 

 


Reference:

1. Bangkok Hospital. โรคฟันผุ [อินเตอร์เนต]. [เข้าถึงเมื่อ2020 Jan 15]. เข้าถึงได้จาก: https://www.bangkokhospital.com/th/disease-treatment/dental-caries

2. Bangkok Hospital. โรคปริทันต์อักเสบ [อินเตอร์เนต]. [เข้าถึงเมื่อ 15มกราคม2563]. เข้าถึงได้จาก: https://www.bangkokhospital.com/th/disease-treatment/periodontitis

3. Honestdocs. 10 สาเหตุหลักของการสูญเสียฟัน [อินเตอร์เนต]. 2562 [เข้าถึงเมื่อ 15มกราคม2563] เข้าถึงได้จาก: https://www.honestdocs.co/ten-main-causes-of-tooth-loss

4. วิกุล วิสาลเสสถ์, นนทินี ตั้งเจริญดี. คู่มือฟันสะอาดเหงือกแข็งแรง. สำนักทันตสาธารณสุข กรมอนามัย; 2560  [เข้าถึงเมื่อ 15มกราคม2563]. เข้าถึงได้จาก: http://dental2.anamai.moph.go.th/ewt_dl_link.php?nid=1798&filename=dental_health_media


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