Elderly dental care tips for good dental hygiene
As with any age, proper oral hygiene is vital for good oral health. During the patient’s dental check-up, the dentist will review the necessary oral hygiene being used and will recommend what you can use and what routine you should carry out that will work to your specific needs. Although this is usually specialised to the patient in question, generally speaking, seniors should usually:
– Brush your teeth or gums twice a day (usually before breakfast and right before going to bed).
– Try to floss once a day.
– Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
(Tap water is great as it usually contains fluoride).
– See your dentist on a regular basis for specialised elderly dental care, cleanings, and oral exams.
Getting older puts many patients at risk of a number or oral health issues such as:
This is caused by the bacteria in plaque in the teeth. This usually irritates the gums making them swollen and very likely to bleed while you brush your teeth. Gum disease is a widespread disease amongst many adults of any age mostly because it is often a painless condition that is easily overlooked until the advanced stage.
Many older adults have receding gums. This means that cavities are more likely to develop at the root of the tooth leading to decay. Dry mouth also causes bacteria to build up in the mouth quite easily which is quite common amongst older adults.
There are several factors that can contribute to tooth loss as many people get older. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss.
Dry mouth is caused by reduced saliva flow. Sometimes this can be a direct result of medications or any treatments a patient could be having and sometimes it happens naturally as some people age. Many medications can cause dry mouth.
Root decay is more common amongst the elderly as it is caused by the exposure of the tooth root to acids that commonly cause tooth decay. When the gum tissue recedes from the tooth, the tooth roots become exposed. The roots of the teeth themselves do not have any enamel to protect them and are therefore more prone to decay than the actual tooth.