Senior Mouth Problems

Posted on August 5, 2014 by ECR Louisville in Blog, Dental, Senior Dental Care

Some people experience mouth problems as they become older.  These situations can be inconvenient, embarrassing, painful, and downright irritating!  What issues could occur?  Here are some examples of senior mouth problems and suggestions on how to help overcome them.


  • Discoloration.  Repeated intake of certain foods or drinks like blueberries, cherries, tea, coffee, etc., can cause significant staining to the teeth.  Because of this, it is best to clean teeth immediately after meals.  Some toothpaste companies include ingredients such as baking soda to reduce surface stains.  Naturally, regular flossing and brushing are extremely important when it comes to staving off discoloration, as are twice-yearly dental hygienist appointments (hygienists get teeth sparkly!).
  • Strange tastes.  Some individuals experience an altered sense of taste as the years pass on.  This can be frustrating because foods that once seemed appetizing no longer offer the same enjoyment.  Certain medications can drastically affect taste in some people, so this is one possibility.  At the same time, a diminished sense of smell occasionally accompanies taste alterations.  If food is beginning to taste strange to you, consult with your doctor.  He/she will likely strive to discover the cause.  If the reason cannot be determined, then you may be referred to an ears, nose, and throat specialist.  Independent of all of that, use certain nasal sprays with care.  More than a few people believe their sense of smell became negatively impacted because of this type of medication.
  • Dentures misalignment.  Dentures typically start off feeling fine but can become uncomfortable.  The reason?  Bone and gums change as time goes by, and what once fit properly may become loose or shifted.  Bottom line?  Call your dentist if your dentures are bothering you or if you have any questions.  He/she will make the necessary adjustments so they can feel great again.  Do not attempt to adjust dentures on your own, you could break the appliance or end up with an even greater degree of distortion.
  • Chewing difficulties.  Chewing difficulties can be rooted in a number of different causes.  The problem might be a canker sore that will heal in a few days, a dental appliance that needs fine-tuning, tooth sensitivity because of nerve problems (and the eventual need for a root canal), loose teeth due to bone loss and periodontal disease, and a medley of other possibilities.  If you feel discomfort when chewing, it is important to find out the culprit.  Some seniors fail to eat the proper foods because it hurts to do so and subsequently suffer from malnutrition. Consult your doctor for more information on ways to improve your problem with chewing difficulties.

Sure, mouth maladies may increase with age, but proper care can circumvent certain problems.  Now that’s something most of us can swallow!

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