Age’s Impact on Dental Health
With age comes wear and tear on our teeth that becomes more noticeable over time, making us less resistant to acidic foods and beverages, leading to gum infections and potentially loosening or loss of teeth. But by following good oral hygiene practices these problems can be reduced or avoided altogether.
Diet is key to good oral health, and older adults are especially prone to needing extra nutritional support due to aging-related changes in their bodies. Furthermore, older people are more likely to take prescription medicines that cause side effects like dry mouth (a common complaint among elders), which could further complicate oral complications if not managed appropriately.
Aging can bring with it physical and cognitive disabilities that reduce dexterity, making it more challenging to practice good oral self-care practices, as well as accessing affordable healthcare services.
Oral health is an integral component of overall wellbeing but often falls off the global agenda. With population and age structure shifting in inequitable patterns worldwide, urgent and bold policy action are required to make oral healthcare a top priority for all populations at risk of poor oral health including minorities, economically-deprived groups and those living with disability or institutionalisation.