Oral Health for Seniors

  • Feb 12 2016

Teeth are designed by nature to offer you a lifetime of use. You will only be able to enjoy your teeth your whole life if you take care of them though. The older you get, the greater your risk for developing oral health problems. The habits of a lifetime, good or bad, can add up over time. If you have had a lot of bad habits (sugar, alcohol, smoking, and skipping out on good habits such as daily flossing), you have to take extra care to reverse your situation. If you have had good habits your whole life, keeping up with them is now more important than ever.

What are some common oral health conditions for seniors?

• Stained teeth. This is largely an aesthetic problem, and thankfully, teeth can be lightened safely with Zoom whitening.

• Gingivitis. Gum disease can cause bad breath, sensitive gums, and weakened gum and bone tissue. It can cost you teeth if it goes untreated.

• Root decay. The acids from bacteria which can eat into your gums and teeth may also eat into the roots. Patients with receding gum tissue are at increased risk for root decay.

• Dry mouth. Dry mouth can increase your risk for other tooth and gum problems, and is caused by a reduction in the amount of saliva in your mouth.

• Denture-related problems. This may include stomatitis, which refers to inflammation surrounding a denture, and a loss of taste. If you develop Thrush (candida in the mouth), this may increase your chances of developing stomatitis.

• Medication-related issues. If you are on more medications than you used to be, you should be aware that some medications can cause oral health problems such as dry mouth.

What can you do to prevent these conditions?

Thankfully taking care of your teeth and gums is something which remains fairly simple throughout your life. Those same good habits which protect your oral health when you are young can protect your oral health when you get older.

• Brush your teeth twice a day. Use toothpaste with fluoride. Make sure you get your gum line as well as your teeth, and that you do not skip out on tough-to-reach spots.
• Floss your teeth at least once a day. Do not cut corners. Flossing is just as important as brushing.

The last thing you can do to take care of your teeth is go to see a San Diego dentist at least once a year for a regular cleaning and checkup. You should also schedule an appointment with a dentist in San Diego if you notice any changes in your mouth such as teeth which are newly sensitive or loose. Sores and bleeding, swelling, and lumps are all causes for concern. If you have trouble chewing, swallowing, or tasting your food, you also should schedule an appointment. The best San Diego dentist can help you to catch oral health conditions early and keep your teeth and gums healthy as you get older. Your teeth can last a lifetime if you take care of them, and we are here to help!

Posted in: Oral Care