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Today 75 million baby boomers are approaching their senior years, and their teeth are growing old with them. Proper oral health is crucial in helping teeth last a lifetime. Aside from brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and seeing the dentist for regular checkups, seniors face certain issues when it comes to oral health. These issues include the following:
? Cavities and decay on the root surfaces of the teeth are more common in older adults.
? Sensitivity can be an increasing problem as people age. Because gums naturally recede over time, areas of the tooth that are not protected by enamel are more prone to pain from cold or hot foods or beverages. Dentists recommend using an antisensitivi-ty toothpaste.
? Dry mouth is a common condition for seniors as a result of certain medications or medical disorders. Dentists can recommend different methods to restore moisture to the mouth, as well as appropriate treatments or medications to help stop the problems associated with dry mouth.
? Health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer can affect oral health. Patients should keep their dentist informed about any changing health conditions.
? Many seniors wear dentures, which require special care. Dentists recommend an annual checkup for long-term denture wearers.