As your teeth and gums age, certain serious problems regarding oral health become more common. It’s important to be aware of these conditions and their risks so that you can keep your mouth healthy and seek appropriate treatment when necessary. The following three oral health problems are potential issues the elderly should be conscious of.

Mouth Cancer

Oral cancer can be a serious disease, especially when not discovered early. It’s important to be aware of the signs associated with this condition. Persistent mouth sores or mouth pain are common signs of oral cancer. Regular dental checkups can often find this type of cancer in its early stages. Mouth cancer is treatable and curable when the diagnosis comes early and treatment is started promptly. Treatment may involve surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted drug therapy.

Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is a condition in which the fungus Candida albicans accumulates in the mouth. Typically, the infection lasts for about two weeks with proper treatment and care. Elderly people can be particularly susceptible to this disorder because of their weakened immune system. One of the ways to treat oral thrush is to add unsweetened yogurt to your daily diet. Your health care provider can also prescribe an antifungal medication for treatment of the condition.

Root Decay

The possible incidence of tooth decay significantly increases as a person grows older. One of the main causes of decay in the tooth root is the fact that gums recede with age, which leaves more of the tooth exposed and vulnerable to deterioration and attack. Many seniors use medications that can cause drying of the mouth, which is another factor that can increase tooth decay. Vaping may also undercut oral health and lead to decay. Good oral care in association with regular dental visits is the best way to prevent decay and deal with any problems as soon as they arise. Another way to help prevent root decay is to change up your diet. Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and less sugary foods is one of the best methods to keep your entire mouth healthy.

As people grow older, oral health can often be overlooked as other health concerns that seem more serious require immediate attention. However, keeping your mouth and gums healthy is very important, especially for the elderly. The consequences can be quite serious if one of these conditions is not treated in a timely manner. Maintaining regular dental visits is one of the best strategies to prevent, diagnose and treat these problems.