As you age your body undergoes many changes including your mouth and teeth. It is not uncommon for dental care to fall by the wayside for some seniors. However, dental care is just as important as you age, if not more so.
Senior Oral Care
Many seniors may be taking medications that can cause a condition called dry mouth. If you notice your mouth seems to be dry all the time, this can prove detrimental to your oral health. Your saliva plays a key role in your overall oral and dental health as it helps to remove bacteria from your mouth that can lead to tooth decay as well as gum disease. If you find your mouth is always dry it is important to find ways to help return moisture.
You can chew sugar-free gum as well as use alcohol free oral rinses to keep your mouth moist and comfortable. Dry mouth can cause bad breath so rinses and gums will do double duty by helping to keep your breath fresh.
It is important to maintain excellent oral care as a senior. Whether you are caring for an elderly person or you yourself are a senior taking care of your own oral health, regular flossing and brushing is a must. Sensitive teeth can be more common in seniors and using a toothpaste made for tooth sensitivity will work wonders to keep your teeth more comfortable. As well, regular seniors’ dental check-ups ideally every six to nine months will help you maintain perfect dental health. This goes for seniors with dentures as well.
Common Dental Issues for Seniors
Seniors may be more prone to certain dental issues and specific senior’s dental care including:
∙ Receding gum lines – as you age it is not uncommon for your gums to recede. This will cause tooth sensitivity but can also make your teeth more vulnerable to decay as receding gums will expose the sensitive root area. Your dentist may recommend a gum graft in severe cases of receding gum lines.
∙ Oral cancer – as you age you are also more likely to develop different types of cancer. Regular dental checkups will allow your dentist to do a thorough oral check to look for any lesions or growths common to oral cancers.
∙ Dry mouth – as mentioned dry mouth is common in seniors both due to medicine as well as aging lessening the production of saliva. This can make swallowing difficult and even painful as well as increase the chances of tooth decay.
∙ Ill-fitting dentures and dental work – seniors with dentures can suffer from many complications due to ill-fitted dentures and even older dental work. Regular dental checks will help keep your dentures comfortable as well as identify the need for repairs or replacement or dental work.
If you are a senior, Dr. Corinne Contant at Lakeside Dental is the Stoney Creek dentist to provide the special care you need to keep your mouth and teeth healthy. You can call 905-664-0808 to set up an appointment today. New patients are always welcome.
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