A healthy smile is not only meaningful to the younger generation but also for the old. But this may not be the case when it comes old. Several factors contribute to oral health issues in seniors and this is because as you age your risk to these problems increase and that is why dental care for the elderly is very important. Other factors that add to these problems include their incapability to receive good oral hygiene because of financial constraints and cannot excessive insurance cover and inability to provide enough dental care for themselves. These factors can cause the senior to ignore tooth infections and tooth decay up to the point where there is no option but tooth removal.
Dental concerns for seniors
As time goes by, bacteria may be stuck on the border of a restorative filling. The bare tooth may cause tooth decay. In this case, you may need to have a filling if there is a cavity or have the tooth removed. If the decay is severe, having a crown may be the best option. If the tissue of your tooth is infected, having a root canal treatment will not be wrong.
Gum disease is a common case in adults, and bacteria in plaque can trigger it which is as a result of poor diet, food remains in teeth, use of tobacco, and poor fitting of dentures. With periodontal disease gums bleed, become red, irritated, and swollen. At its early stages, the condition doesn’t hurt, but the pain gets intense when it’s in its later stages a reason. This is why it is a popular issue in seniors. If gum disease is not treated, it can harm the bone, gums, and tissue that support the teeth. Regular dental checkups are imperative in realizing the disease early.
This condition is triggered by the reduced flow of saliva in the mouth which can be as a result of some medications such as cancer treatments that involve radiation. However, this can be treated by drinking more water, using sugar-free gum, and changing medications. Seniors with this condition are advised to avoid drinks and foods that dry the mouth. These drinks include coffee.
Dental hygiene for seniors
Since oral health is a risk to you as a senior, it is critical to look after your teeth with a lot of care and here is how you can do it:
- Floss, brush and rinse your mouth with a lot of water
- Schedule regular checkups with your dentist
- If you use dentures, ensure they are always clean and properly maintained
- Avoid using tobacco products
- Eat oral health promoting foods such as nuts and lean meats
If you find it hard to brush or floss try making longer your toothbrush or asking someone to help you reach the areas that you cannot. Using a sackcloth can contribute to removing the debris from the teeth. When visiting your dentist ensure you inform him of any medications that you are using.