With the number of Americans aged 60-plus expected to increase by 70 per cent by 2025, dental care for seniors is a growing concern.
According to the Baltimore Sun, around a quarter of adults in that age group no longer have their natural teeth, while many more suffer from oral health problems such as cavities, receding gums and shifting teeth.
Speaking to the newspaper, Dr Richard H Price from the American Dental Association revealed that according to some research, seniors are getting cavities at twice the rate of teenagers.
"As you age, you need to see the dentist more often, not less," he added.
However, there are a number of things that may prevent older people from seeing the dentist as often as they should, including a lack of both awareness and finances.
Some may have lost their health insurance when they retired, while others are on small fixed incomes. Elderly people only receive limited coverage from Medicaid and Medicare for dental work, the publication reported.
"Twenty-five million adults forgo dental care because they can't afford it," Dr Price stated, adding that "a goodly amount are seniors".
Discount dental plans could be one way for seniors to meet any expensive treatment costs.
© 2008 Brafton Inc.
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