As you age, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene habits to prevent cavities. Statistics show that cavities appear most often in older adults for various reasons. If they were not exposed to fluoride in their childhood through water or toothpaste, the likelihood of tooth decay is increased. In addition, teeth that have previously undergone work such as dental fillings do not hold up as well as natural teeth over time. This can lead to decay developing around those fillings.
A major concern for seniors is the increased likelihood of cavities developing in the tooth root. As gum tissue recedes in older adults, more of the surface of their teeth is exposed to decay. A common concern that compounds the problem of receding gum lines is dry mouth. Saliva helps wash away remaining food particles left over after eating. In the case of dry mouth, this reduction in saliva circulation means more sugars and acids will remain which deteriorates tooth enamel. Dry mouth can be caused by medications such as cancer treatments that involve radiation to the head and neck, and certain diseases like Sjogren's syndrome. Other maladies seniors often endure that can lead to poor oral health include diabetes and heart disease.