As the life expectancy of people gets extended, the health and well-being of those in their senior years also can improve. You might already exercise, try to make healthy food choices, see your doctors often, and even try to improve your brain function. It can be easy for busy seniors to get caught up in a whirlwind of activities, travel, social events, etc. and fail to take proper notice of their dental health, however. What goes on in your mouth is about more than a having cleanings and filling cavities. Read on to find out about some dental maladies that just seem to target those in their golden years.

Missing Teeth

Not only are missing teeth unattractive but their absence may also create some serious dental problems. The way your teeth line up is important. Each tooth depends on the one beside it, under it, and over it to help keep it in place and properly aligned. When a tooth is missing, the alignment of your entire mouth can be thrown off. That means gaps in your teeth that are harder to remedy than you might think. Loose teeth also can mean cracking, breaking, cavities, and gum diseases. The only fix is to replace those gaps as quickly as possible with dentures, bridges, or implants.

Gum Disease

As you age, the systems that keep everything running properly begin to slow down. One of those systems is your immune system. Whereas the bacteria present in your mouth could have been vanquished when you were younger, those same bugs can cause untold problems for your gums now. A tiny cut or break in the skin of your gums is enough to allow bacteria to enter and cause an infection. Gum infections are nothing to be trifled with. In some cases, the infections from periodontitis can spread to your brain and affect your entire body.

Dry Mouth

While many consider this problem a mere annoyance, suffering from a dry mouth might make you more vulnerable to issues like bad breath. Additionally, in a healthy mouth, saliva acts as a cleansing agent to help wash away bacteria that could cause cavities and gum diseases. Fortunately, the fix for a dry mouth can be found inexpensively at drug stores in the form of washes and sprays like Oasis and Biotene.

Oral Cancer

If there was ever a good reason for seeing your dentist regularly, this might be it. Oropharyngeal cancer can be extremely difficult to detect unless you are looking for it. Your first line of defense is your oral hygienist and your dentist during your regular checkup and cleanings. Thankfully, this form of cancer is curable if caught and treated soon enough.

Don't put your appointment off. Call your dentist for a checkup today.