That's because older people produce less saliva that's needed to clean the teeth. According to the American Geriatrics Society's Foundation for Health in Aging, "gums shrink with age, exposing the tooth to decay or infection." Often the elderly have trouble flossing and brushing because of sight and mobility limitations.
Here are some solutions:
1. Visit the dentist yearly.
2. Make sure to floss and brush regularly. An electric toothbrush used properly can help.
3. Have dentures checked and refitted regularly.
4. Moisten a dry mouth.
5. Make an appointment with your dentist or physician if you find red or white spots or sores in your mouth that do not disappear within 2 weeks.