Oral Health Concerns for Older Adults Tuesday, 09 February 2016
As people age, oral health needs can change as well. Here are some things to think about:
You may begin to experience less pain or discomfort in your mouth, but this may not mean that your mouth is healthy. In some older adults, nerve changes may lessen sensitivity.
How to help – See your dentist regularly, as your dentist can check for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, poorly fitting dentures, and oral cancer.
A number of factors can cause dry mouth, including many medications. This can be detrimental; as saliva helps you eat and talk. It washes food away from the teeth and lessens the effect of acids in the mouth that can cause tooth decay. Saliva also carries minerals that keep teeth strong.
How to help – To combat the effects of dry mouth, take small sips of water throughout the day. You can also use sugar-free lozenges or chew sugar-free gum. Avoid alcohol and tobacco. A saliva substitute may also help.
Anyone can develop gum disease. Caused by a build-up of plaque, gum disease affects the attachment between your teeth and gums. Left untreated, gum disease may result in tooth loss. Older adults may also experience receding gums, which exposes the roots. Teeth with exposed roots may be at increased risk of developing decay or becoming loose.
How to help – Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush along the gum line using fluoride-containing toothpaste. Clean between your teeth with floss or another tool designed for this task once a day. See your dentist regularly, because plaque can harden along the gum line, making it difficult to keep your teeth clean on your own. A professional cleaning is the only way to remove hardened plaque.
Tooth Decay (Cavities)
Several factors can increase your risk of experiencing tooth decay: sugars in food and drinks, dry mouth, not cleaning your teeth every day, and exposed tooth roots. Even teeth with fillings or crowns can develop cavities.
How to help – Luckily, the things you do to help prevent gum problems are the same things that can help you avoid cavities. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush along the gum line using fluoride-containing toothpaste, and clean between your teeth once a day. See your dentist regularly. Your dentist may suggest that you also use a fluoride-containing mouth rinse or an in-office fluoride treatment or varnish.
Tooth loss can affect what you eat and how you look, talk, and feel.
How to help – You may be able to restore your smile with implants or a partial or full denture. No matter how many teeth you have (even if you have lost them all), see your dentist regularly. Your dentist can check that all is well in your mouth, checking for things like sores, irritation, infection, and oral cancer.
Your Health Inspired Dental Team
- Say Yes to Non-Surgical Gum Therapy
- What kind of toothpaste should I be using?
- Why Choose a Female Dentist?
- Claudia Minadeo-Fox DDS celebrates 30 years!
- 10 tips for a flatter stomach from Cleveland Health Coach
- Is Sparkling Water Bad for My Teeth?
- Common Dental Barriers; What’s Keeping You From the Dentist
- Choosing Your Local Dentist for Botox and Dermal Fillers
- Cleveland Health Coach Thinking About Your Heart
- Breaking Habits the Right Way
- Integrative Nutrition and Health Coaching
- GERD Effects the Health of Your Teeth
- Massage and Cold Weather
- 21 Day Meditation – Become What You Believe
- Ways to Relieve Stress and Relax Your Mind
- Interesting Facts About Vitamin D
- Interesting Facts About Massage Therapy
- The Eight Causes of Cravings
- B12 – the Vitamin for All Ages
- Sugar – the Only Cause of Tooth Decay
- Transform Your Diet Without Radically Altering Your LIfe
- Just One More Reason To Smile! Newsletter – April 2015
- Bone Loss Score May Tip Off Doctors to Gum Disease in Postmenopausal Women
- Know The Risks of Oral Cancer
- Suggestions on How to Restore Your Natural Sleep Rhythm
- Take Control of Your Heart to Take Care of Your Heart
- WHAT’S IN A KISS
- Most & Least Contaminated Produce
- Begin the New Year with a wellness routine! Be sure to include Massage!
- 3 Ways to Enjoy Holiday Parties
- Quick and Easy Dental Hygiene
- Acid Reflux – Your Dentist May Notice Before You Do
- Happy Thanksgiving
- Skipping Dental Visits May Impact Sense of Smell
- Thank You For Attending Our Say Ahh Event
- 3 Health Benefits of Eating Chocolate
- Mouth Guards Prevent Dental Injuries
- What to pack in your child’s school lunch for the nutritional punch?
- Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps – Holistic Health!
- SAY AHH
- Five Reasons to Scrape Your Tongue Every Day:
- Highland Heights Green Task Force
- Four Spring Cleaning Tips for a Healthy Mouth
- Dental Health Month
- Happy New Year from Everyone on Our Team!