Oral Health for seniors

Older couple 

Children are at risk for dental cavities, but did you know that the senior population is also at risk?

One would think that dental cavities would be a “stage” that we could outgrow, and that if we made it through most of our adult life without new cavities, then we’d be home free. 

This is actually not the case, and something to consider when you are taking a look at your health and the health of any seniors in your life.

So for those age 65 and over, the risk for decay starts increasing again.  Aging as well as many common medications cause dry mouth, which reduces our saliva production.  Saliva is a great weapon against plaque build up and a lack of it is a risk factor. 

If you feel that you’re experiencing dry mouth, please check with your dentist.  Drinking more water may help.  For those on medications, check with your physician to see if you can switch to a prescription without dry mouth (xerostomia) as a side-effect.

Dr. Femina Ali gave a presentation this year for the Wellesley Senior Council on Aging and at North Hill in Needham for a group of retirees.  Geriatric dentistry is a growing field – patients who have never before needed medical services may find the need to establish relationships with specialists.

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