Preserving teeth and maintaining good oral health year after year can be a challenge. For seniors who have had their adult teeth for decades, some changes might be necessary, and there are several factors to keep in mind. In addition to staying hydrated and visiting the dentist on a regular basis, they also need to look after their dentures and assess the impact their medications might have on their oral health. This blog post details a number of helpful oral hygiene tips and suggestions for seniors.
Seniors are more likely to experience dry mouth as a result of biological changes caused by ageing. This can lead to bacteria growing which causes bad breath and tooth decay. Seniors are encouraged to drink fluids more often to keep their mouth hydrated. It’s also recommended that they reduce alcohol consumption to prevent dehydration and chew on sugar-free gum to increase saliva.
Whether chewed or smoked, tobacco is a harmful substance that can cause serious health problems and dental issues. This includes throat and mouth cancer, not to mention the damage it can cause to the gums and teeth. Eliminating all forms of tobacco will go a long way to protecting oral health and preventing potentially fatal illnesses.
Seniors statistically take a lot more medication to manage health issues that arise with age. Although these are designed to improve health, they can have side-effects that affect the mouth. For example, some medications are known to cause dry mouth, while others cause an increase in oral fungi. It’s important to determine how medications might affect oral health and take steps to minimise the impact.
Just because a person wears partial or complete dentures doesn’t mean they should stop taking their dental care seriously. You don’t become magically impervious just because some or all of your natural teeth have been replaced with artificial ones. It’s important to make sure dentures fit correctly and are properly maintained, otherwise gum inflammation and fungi growth can occur.
There’s no substitute for visiting a professional dentist on a regular basis. Routine check-ups will identify issues before they get serious, treatments can be administered to correct problems, and professional advice will ensure positive habits are developed.
At East Bentleigh Dental Group, we can provide valuable advice and assistance for seniors. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how to maintain good oral health and preserve your teeth for longer. Give us a call on (03) 9575 110, send us an email or submit an online enquiry.