Good Oral Health For Seniors
As we age, it becomes even more important to take good care of our teeth and dental health. One common misconception is that losing your teeth is inevitable.
This is not true. If cared for properly, your teeth can last a lifetime. And with natural teeth, with dentures, and even without either, dental care becomes even more important to your health as you age.
Your mouth does change as you age. The nerves in your teeth can become smaller, making your teeth less sensitive to cavities or other problems. Your gums can recede. Cavities can develop on tooth roots. If you don’t get regular dental exams, these problems might not be diagnosed until it is too late. This is one good reason, as you age, to keep those dental appointments up.
And if you want to feel good, stay healthy, and look great throughout life, you might be surprised what a difference a healthy mouth makes – studies demonstrate that good dental health is tightly linked to good general health.
At DentArana Dental, we’re here to work with you to assure great dental health at all ages!
Issues of Dental Health Associated with Ageing
- Tooth Decay – Older people are more vulnerable to tooth decay, possibly due to a preference for sweeter foods, less attention to oral hygiene and inability or reticence to access dental treatment.
- Tooth Ache – Heavily filled teeth, or teeth under crowns and bridges may look sound, but the nerves in these teeth may die off. Once this happens, the dead nerve tissue may become infected and toothache can follow.
- Broken Teeth – Decayed teeth, worn teeth and old fillings do break, often leaving sharp ends that the tongue plays with. This can result in tongue ulceration, which is very sore, and a poor bite
- Gum Related and Soft Tissue Problems – Gum disease that causes bone loss, tooth loosening, or even tooth loss, requires immediate treatment.
- Soft Tissue Problems – It is not uncommon see a range of lumps, white lines and patches in the mouth. Ulcers are common. Mouth cancers account for over two per cent of all cancers and their incidence is increasing. Smokers are at increased risk and if the person has a history of smoking and heavy drinking, the risk of oral cancer increases by sixteen times.
- Denture-related Problems – Dentures should be cleaned properly by scrubbing vigorously with a toothbrush. Dentures should not be worn at night and should be soaked overnight, otherwise oral fungal infections will occur. Denture wearers and the elderly in general are prone to lose skin tone especially at the angle of the mouth. These tissues can become cracked and cause fungal and bacterial infections.
Oral Health and Dental Health
Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:
- Endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium). Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart.
- Cardiovascular disease. Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
- Pregnancy and birth. Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
Certain conditions also might affect your oral health, including:
- Diabetes. Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection — putting the gums at risk. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes.
- HIV/AIDS. Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.
- Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis — which causes bones to become weak and brittle — might be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry a small risk of damage to the bones of the jaw.
- Alzheimer’s disease. Worsening oral health is seen as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.
Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and head and neck cancers.
How to Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy
Fortunately, you can work to keep your teeth and gums healthy into your 60s, 70s, and beyond.
Consider the following recommendations:
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly
- Quit all tobacco products
- Boost your intake of calcium and vitamin D
- Maintain moderate alcohol consumption
- Brush your teeth twice per day
- Floss every day
- Visit DentArana Dental regularly
The DentArana Difference!
Whatever your age or dental condition, your Arana Hills dentist is here for you!
We will examine you to ensure that you are not suffering from tooth decay, infection, or gum disease. If you are, we will address those issues. Then, after we have helped you achieve your optimum level of dental health, we will talk with you about your ongoing dental health and what approach is most likely to help you keep it!
Our Special Offers for New Senior Patients
- Dental Implants
- Anti-wrinkle Injections