People of all ages need to see the dentist and take steps to maintain good oral health. This is especially true for seniors. Due to variety of factors, senior patients often experience a greater risk of periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. However, there are many steps for seniors to take to help promote better oral health.
Maintaining Good Oral Health for Seniors
- Don’t ignore dry mouth: Xerostomia, also known as dry mouth, may seem like it’s a minor issue. However, with the proper amount of saliva, the body cannot naturally cleanse the mouth of food particles and bacteria, leading to a greater risk of bad breath, tooth decay, gingivitis, and even gum disease. We recommend drinking more water, chewing sugar-free gum to promote the production of saliva, and discussing the issue with us to see if certain medications may be behind your dry mouth.
- See your dentist to address tooth loss: Losing teeth can mean difficulty eating, an aged appearance, trouble speaking clearly, and embarrassment. Why not talk to your dentist about possible solutions? We can offer steps to protect your mouth form further tooth loss and also discuss prosthetics to restore your smile to optimal beauty and function.
- Consider electric toothbrushes: For some seniors, limited mobility means problems properly brushing and flossing. To make caring for teeth easier, we may recommend an electronic toothbrush or possibly a water flosser.
- Discuss your sedation options: For patients with anxiety, we can provide sedation. We always take your medical history into account before recommending a calming solution. Sedation can hep you remain calm, relaxed, and conscious during treatment, even if you don’t remember the procedure at all.
- See your dentist every six months: Just as during childhood and adulthood, seniors need to undergo routine checkups and dental cleanings every six months.