Many senior citizens may be living with tooth decay because they do not have dental insurance or their coverage is limited, according to a report in the Steamboat Pilot and Today.
The article features comments from dentists in Steamboat Springs, Colorado who say their elderly patients often have advanced tooth decay because they have difficulties looking after their own dental health.
Additionally, they say that even people who have healthy mouths will probably need to have work done after age 60 to maintain fillings, crowns and other old dental work.
However, many older people may have lost their dental insurance after they retired from work, while Medicare does not cover routine dental work, according to the news provider.
Older people may have dental health problems due to dry mouth, which is often connected to taking certain medications, or because of poorly fitted dentures, receding gums or cracked fillings.
The California Dental Association suggests that seniors make sure they visit their dentist for regular dental checkups, to detect problems as early as possible.
Discount dental plans are an alternative to dental insurance that provide savings of 10 to 60 percent on most dental procedures.
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