Seniors and Oral Health

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*Disclaimer: These are not Jon nor Martha Stewart.  🙂

Oral health has an effect in overall health

So you’re 60 years old, or older. That’s totally OK! Thanks to you we have wisdom. Which is why you’re reading this. It’s incredible to know that your and my oral health has a massive effect on our overall health!

How do I maintain my oral health?

The beauty of dental health is that it’s simple, kind of like everything else, but you’d know that by now! So your usual toothbrushing at least twice a day and flossing will help. If you are on the unhealthier side of things, visiting your dentist and making sure we know that they are there to help us increase our oral health and will recommend procedures only for that purpose, unless you ask them otherwise, would be the best option.

How much will it cost me to get my oral health back up?

Remember, it doesn’t have to be expensive! You can save on every visit with the dentist with Direct Access.

Special Issues to look after

There are several to look out for, but here’s a list of some of them according to Colgate Oral Care Center:

  • Cavities and decay on the root surfaces of the teeth are more common in older adults. So it’s important to brush with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and see your dentist regularly.
  • Sensitivity can be an increasing problem as one ages. Your gums naturally recede over time, exposing areas of the tooth that are not protected by enamel. These areas are particularly prone to pain due to cold or hot foods or beverages. In severe cases cold air, as well as sensitivity to sour and sweet drinks and foods, can occur. If you experience sensitivity, try an anti-sensitivity toothpaste. If the problem persists, see your dentist, as the sensitivity may be an indication of a more serious condition, such as a cavity or a cracked or fractured tooth.
  • Dry mouth is a common condition in seniors, and one that may be caused by medications or certain medical disorders. Left untreated, dry mouth can damage your teeth. Your dentist can recommend various methods to restore moisture in your mouth, as well as appropriate treatments or medications to help prevent the problems associated with dry mouth.
  • Existing health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, can affect your oral health. Be sure to let your dentist know of any general health issues you’re facing, so that he or she understands the whole situation and can help you meet your special requirements.
  • Dentures can make life easier for many seniors, but they require special care. Follow your dentist’s instructions carefully and see your dentist if any problems arise. An annual checkup is recommended for long-term denture wearers.
  • Gum disease is a potentially serious condition that can affect people of all ages, but especially people over 40. A number of factors can increase the severity of gum disease, including:
  • Bad diet
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Systemic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
  • Environmental factors such as: stress and smoking
  • Certain medications that can influence gum condition

Conclusion: Don’t fear, learn and act.

We know how scary it can be visiting the dentist, but remember things are changing, and tools are much more developed. Pain is inevitable and as a senior it may feel worse, but it’s like everything, for your own good. We are in the midst of the information age and we have information available immediately (if you don’t believe me, ask your grand-kids). So make it a bonding activity to have your grand-kids help you look for more information about your upcoming procedure or oral issue.