Oral Care for Seniors
We use our teeth to eat, communicate, and express ourselves. We only get one set of adult teeth, so it’s especially important for us to take care of them as we get older. It can be hard to maintain your dental routine as you age, but there are quite a few reasons why it becomes even more critical as the years go by. We’ve compiled a few of those reasons, as well as suggestions to make maintaining your oral health even easier as a senior.
5 Ways Aging Affects Oral Health
- Heart Disease
- Dry Mouth
You may not know it, but your oral health has a major impact on your overall health. Plaque doesn’t just build up on your teeth. Once that bacteria enters your bloodstream, it can actually collect along your heart’s artery walls, leading to heart disease.
Just as the plaque on your teeth can contribute to heart disease, it can also affect the way your body uses its insulin supply. Conversely, if you have high blood sugar levels, your gums are more likely to become infected.
Eating and drinking sugary foods and drinks, smoking, trauma, and neglect can all cause your teeth to stain more and more over time as your enamel becomes weaker. You may notice your teeth becoming more yellow over time, which isn’t a mere coincidence. Stained teeth can lead to lower levels of self-confidence.
If you take certain medications, like oral contraceptives and antibiotics, you may experience dry mouth, which makes it easier for bacteria to grow on your teeth. It’s especially important to take good care of your teeth and drink plenty of water if you are experiencing dry mouth.
Tooth decay can cause pain and difficulty talking and eating, and further infection of your jaw and other teeth. Untreated infected teeth will ultimately lead to missing teeth, a problem that many seniors face.
How to Maintain Superb Oral Health as a Senior
Prevention is always better than cure!
- Maintain a well-balanced diet.
- Brush and floss your teeth twice a day to curb the amount of bacteria growth in your mouth.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles or an electric toothbrush to clean your teeth more easily.
- Utilize an interdental device or a water flosser to clean between your teeth if it becomes too tough to use traditional string floss.
- Visit Dr. Orr every 6 months to ensure that your teeth are healthy and strong.
We Will Help You Have a Healthy Smile!
If you are missing teeth, don’t fret—it’s not too late to take control of your oral health. Dental implants, crowns, and dentures are all incredible tooth replacement options depending on your situation and budget. Our team at Gentle Breeze Family Dentistry wants our patients to have a healthy smile no matter their age. Contact us to schedule an appointment today for yourself or your loved one!Contact Us