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Seniors with dry mouth risk dental health problems
Updated: 8/26/2010 7:00:04 PM

Seniors with dry mouth risk dental health problems Many seniors begin experiencing dry mouth as they grow older. While most take the condition to be a natural part of aging, dental health experts insist that it is not, and that allowing the problem to go untreated can have a significant impact on their oral health.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that as many as 40 percent of seniors regularly experience dry mouth. The researchers said that the problem is even worse for seniors who take medication or have received radiation treatments to the head or neck.

While the problem is widespread, Michael Turner, the New York University researcher who led the study, said that a persistently dry mouth can lead to many dental health problems.

"Saliva aids in swallowing, oral cleansing, speech, digestion and taste," he said. "When salivary hypofunction and [dry mouth] occur, transient and permanent oral and extraoral disorders can develop."

The problems may be devastating for seniors who do not have dental insurance. Treating oral health problems can cost thousands of dollars. These individuals may benefit from discount dental plans, which could allow them to visit a dentist for preventative treatments at little cost.

For more information on discount dental plans call 1-888-632-5353.

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