A high percentage of seniors have at least half of their teeth missing, others are totally toothless and, lastly, 100% suffer some degree of periodontal disease (infection of the gum.)
Since they are a sector of society at continuous risk of contracting diseases due to the normal deterioration of the organism, treatments for oral conditions become more complex. They take longer and are more significant, in many cases meaning we have to address the treatments together with the geriatrician or the specialist who is treating the diseases of the rest of the organism.
The state of oral health with which we enter our senior years is a direct consequence of the oral health care we have practised throughout our lives. In the Canary Islands we have high rates of caries and periodontal disease in both children and adults, so it is not surprising that the elderly present worrying states of oral health, with practically 100% with periodontal disease, very high levels of root decay and poor dental hygiene habits.
Medications to control high blood pressure produce xerostomia (dry mouth) and as a consequence, bacterial growth flourishes, hindering the hygiene of dental prostheses and making it more difficult to keep them in the mouth. When the treatments are of long duration, it is likely that the appearance of root decay, oral candidiasis (an infection of the mucous membranes produced by a fungus) and discomfort for those using removable prostheses will increase.
These considerations should make the over-fifties take good care of their mouth to keep their teeth, or replace them with implants or other elements in order to have a better quality of life.
At the Adalia Las Palmas Dental Clinic we take great care of these aspects, firstly with a phase of information and prevention of future diseases and secondly, minimising the secondary effects of ageing and medications.