It’s important for patients of all ages to practice great oral health. When you are older there are issues, that can become more an oral health concerns for seniors.
Seniors are more at risk for discoloration, losing teeth, denture care and periodontal disease. Knowing these issues are unique for seniors, will give you a better understanding, on how to take care and prevent these problems.
Your mouth should produce about a quart-and-a-half of saliva every day. Saliva helps take care of leftover food, prevent tooth decay, get rid of bacteria and help protect against bad breath. Having too dry of a mouth will put you more at risk for minor discomfort, myriad problems and possible issues with cavities.
Xerostomia which is also known as dry mouth is common among seniors due to certain medications. Around 90% of anyone over the age of 65 are on at least one type of medication, having a dry mouth is not uncommon. Anything from hormone changes, infection, blocked nasal passages to allergies can cause a dry mouth.
Bad breath is another struggle and common oral health concerns for seniors. This can make social situations extremely uncomfortable. Bad breath is not an issue that is stand alone. When you have bad breath, it is usually due to an underlying problem, when the underlying problem is resolved usually the bad breath is too. Periodontal disease and dry mouth and two issues that can lead to bad breath.
Another major cause of bad breath is having poor dental hygiene. It is crucial to keep your teeth clean by brushing and flossing twice a day along with seeing your dentist about twice a year. If you are someone who wears dentures you need to make sure you are cleaning them just as often and as properly as you would with real teeth. Just as with teeth, dentures can also have a buildup of plaque which can be a supplier to bad breath and oral health concerns for seniors.
It is natural to have discoloration of your teeth when you are aging. Having the right dental care can sometimes help prevent this, in other ways it is not avoidable. Avoiding certain products such as soda, coffee, tobacco, and tea can help keep your teeth as white as you’d like them to be. There are some cosmetic services offered that can help you with whitening your teeth. You could get permanent dental veneers, or have your teeth whitened.
Losing teeth is common and oral health concerns for seniors. When looking at the statistics, patients over the age of 65 on average have around 18.9 remaining teeth. Around 27% of seniors do not have any remaining teeth. Poor dental hygiene and smoking are leading contributors to loss of teeth within the elderly. If you see your dentist on a regular basis you will more than likely decrease your chances of losing any teeth. If you do end up losing a tooth you should come see as soon as possible so we can go over all your options and possibly save your chances to smile comfortable, talk and eat. A solution to this could be a tooth implant.
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