As we naturally age, oral health needs to be paid more care and attention. Oral routines break down, mobility is reduced, and your oral health is naturally neglected. Whilst you may get away with neglecting oral health temporarily when you’re younger, this isn’t the case at a senior age.
This isn’t suggesting that oral health isn’t important at any age, because it is. Although, seniors are more inclined to experience certain oral health conditions more quickly.
#Reason 1 – Dry Mouth
Senior adults naturally experience low saliva production. Dry mouth is also a side effect if you take prescription drugs for other medical conditions. Salivary glands weaken, causing saliva production to reduce. This can also impact digestion. Therefore, seniors should follow these senior oral care steps to reduce dry mouth.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Chew on sugar-free gum in between meals
- Consider a prescription if dry mouth becomes more serious
#Reason 2 – Cardiovascular Disease
Research has found a direct link between strong oral hygiene and reducing cardiovascular disease. Those that experience direct oral health conditions such as periodontal disease will likely experience worsened oral health. Periodontal disease is an advanced gum condition that can instigate tooth loss and receding gums when harmful bacteria and plaque build in the mouth. When this happens, any restorative treatments to restore your smile such as dentures, implants, and bridges will not be possible.
The solution? Always rinse your mouth with lukewarm water after a meal and brush and floss your teeth day and night.
#Reason 3 – Tooth Decay
When harmful bacteria, plaque and sugars combine together, this leads to an acid attack on your enamel, exposing your teeth to further damage. The tooth roots become exposed due to gum tissue recession. Your tooth roots do not have any protection and, once exposed, becomes difficult to restore its health. This can lead to decay.
A simple senior oral care solution is to regularly keep your mouth clean, reduce sugar consumption within your diet and strengthen your enamel by eating calcium and phosphate foods.
#Reason 4 – Darkened Teeth
The dentin, which is positioned under the enamel, can become exposed depending on the food and drink you eat. The enamel also thins out through ageing, further exposing your teeth to staining. Staining reduces the whiteness in your teeth and introduces yellow and dark colours to your smile.
#Reason 5 – Diabetes
Periodontal disease links to diabetes because the body loses its ability to use insulin, a hormone that allows your body to use glucose from carbohydrates, fats and protein. When your glucose levels are uncontrolled and high, this can lead to gum infection.
Regular dental check-ups, controlling your glucose levels and keeping your mouth clean at all times will help prevent gum disease for diabetic patients.
Senior oral problems are common and more care needs to be taken to seniors’ oral health. Visiting the dentist may require more frequent appointments so the dentist can offer the appropriate advice so your smile shines for longer. Smiling is contagious, no matter the age and simple maintenance can keep your oral health in a stronger position as a senior. As a senior, try out these remedies for dry mouth.
Are you a senior who is seeking support with your oral care? Read here to understand the best oral care steps for seniors. Alternatively, you can contact our Dentist Pennant Hills at Hills Pennant Hills. Or, if you feel it is easier to contact us via telephone on