Proper Oral Care for Older Adults

By |September 15th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

We’ve already given you tips to care for your teeth as well as your childrens’ teeth. But what if you’re entering into your twilight years? As you age, your mouth is more susceptible to diseases or infections you may have not been prone to when you were younger.

So, what kinds problems could you run into, and how can they be solved?

  1. Dry mouth, which can lead to gum disease can often be the result of various medications older adults may be taking. Your mouth needs to be constantly “rinsed” with saliva to keep plaque cleared out, and when your mouth is dry your mouth becomes more susceptible to disease.

    • The remedy? Easy. Chew gum or keep water on hand to reduce the likelihood of your mouth drying out during the day. Another thing, the mouthwash you use should not contain alcohol. Alcohol dries the mouth out much quicker.

  2. Gum disease, which stems from gingivitis, causes the gums to become inflamed. It can happen gradually, without warning, because it’s completely painless. Some tell-tale signs you have may have gum disease is bad breath, bleeding gums when you brush, loose teeth, and receding gums.

    • Brushing at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush with toothpaste containing fluoride is something everyone should do, despite their age. Also, flossing at least once a day is one of the best, most overlooked things you can do to prevent gum disease and improve your oral health.

  3. Tooth decay. When bacteria in your mouth create acids that eat away at your teeth, it causes tooth decay. We see this most commonly in the form of cavities.

    • The first thing you can do to reduce the likelihood of tooth decay is cut down on the sugar. Sugar has the tendency to stick around, wearing away the enamel (outer shell of your teeth), slowly causing cavities to form.

    • Another great preventive action to take is to get regular professional cleanings. Daily dental care on your own can only take you so far. We use instruments that loosen up tartar then we go back over your teeth to remove the smaller tartar deposits. And for added protection against decay and disease, we can give you a fluoride treatment during your visit. There are also a number of medicated over-the-counter rinses with fluoride in them.

Older adults need to be more aware of their oral health, more so than younger people. If you are “of a certain age” you’re more vulnerable to major oral health issues so taking daily stock of your oral health is imperative if you want to keep your smile lasting throughout your golden years. If you’re starting to see issues arise in your oral health, give us a call, the experienced dentists here at MacDonald & Whaley will be sure to define and solve any dental problem you may be having.