Seniors can have a lifetime of good dental health if they started out with good dental care in their youth and continued proper dental hygiene throughout the years. Seniors still need healthy gums and if they still have natural teeth they need to take good care of them in order to keep them. If they still have teeth they need to brush at least twice daily and floss once daily. They should have professional dental cleanings at least twice a year at 6-month increments. The dentist will make sure the teeth are clean and will examine the teeth and mouth for dental problems. If they have dentures, gums and tongue still need to be cleaned daily and dentures need to be clean daily too with special denture cleaners just for dentures.
Seniors face special dental problems that a dentist and staff can help them with including the need for and care of dentures, how taking certain medications can affect dental health and how age can impact mouth care.
Seniors can get cavities and tooth decay on the root surfaces of the teeth. It is important for seniors to brush with fluoride toothpaste to help avoid cavities. It is also important for seniors to floss daily and to see the dentist when they are scheduled too which is every six months.
As we get older, tooth sensitivity becomes more common especially as gums naturally tend to recede over time. Seniors can try switching to toothpaste that is designed for tooth sensitivity. They should see a dentist if they notice the sensitivity for more than a week because a chipped or fractured tooth, which needs to be professionally, may also cause the sensitivity cared for to prevent further damage to the tooth.
Dry mouth is another common problem that seniors can experience. Dry mouth can have many causes including the medications that seniors take, certain medical disorders, and allergies that force a person to breath through the mouth.
Seniors can also experience dental problems due to certain health conditions that are more commonly experienced as we age such as heart disease, diabetes, or certain cancers.
Most seniors will eventually wear dentures. Dentures require special care and your dentist will explain how to care for your dentures at the time you get them. Always make an appointment to see your dentist if your dentures change how they fit or cause your mouth to feel uncomfortable. An annual checkup is normally recommended for those who wear dentures.
Seniors can experience gum disease just like younger people do and gum disease can be serious if not treated properly and in a timely manner. Gum disease can especially be serious for someone over age 40 especially if they have a poor diet, have had a history of poor dental hygiene, have a systemic disease such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. Other factors called environmental factors can also contribute to gum disease such as stress and the habit of smoking tobacco products. Seniors are more likely to be on certain medications that can cause gum disease.
It is important to catch gum disease while it is still in the earlier stage because it is then, that the disease is reversible.
If seniors practice proper dental hygiene they can easily avoid gum disease.