The importance of dental care is emphasized for older adults in their daily health and hygiene routine. However, not many are familiar with seniors’ oral health concerns, how to avoid common issues, and how these factors can have a far greater impact on one’s overall health and well-being than just tooth loss.
Importance of Maintaining Seniors’ Oral Health
Many individuals tend to put their oral health on the back burner as they face major obstacles regarding receiving regular dental care, like not having a dental office they are comfortable with, mobility issues, and even age-related memory loss, just to name a few. It’s no surprise that those in this age group tend to miss dentist appointments and have poor oral health. However, it is crucial for you or your loved ones to understand that maintaining good oral health can help to prevent many common problems down the road – tooth loss, gum disease, and toothaches. Healthy teeth and gums can also help older individuals to enjoy food better. For those who have not gone for a check-up in a long time, the thought of visiting a dentist may be scary, but its benefits heavily outweigh all the temporary discomfort they may have to go through.
Seniors’ Oral Health – Common Age-Related Issues
Oral health issues in older populations include the following:
- Edentulism or tooth loss from physical injury, decay, or gum problems.
- Periodontal or gum disease due to the accumulation of bacteria in dental plaque. This results in the infection and inflammation of the surrounding gums and bones.
- Untreated tooth decay that can lead to root cavities formed by a bacterial acid attack on surfaces of the teeth.
- Xerostomia or dry mouth caused by disorders of one’s salivary glands – a side effect of radiation treatment to the neck and head or medications.
- Oral cancer or the growth of invasive tissues that can attack normal oral structures. Although the cause is still unknown, risk factors include drinking and smoking.
Tips for Maintaining Oral Health
The basic tenets of stopping dental diseases in their tracks include keeping teeth plaque-free and regular dental visits. Here are our top tips for aging adults for excellent oral health:
- Brush and floss daily – When one fails to remove plaque around their teeth for more than 24 hours, it coats the teeth and hides under the gumline where it’s difficult for toothbrushes to reach. Brushing and flossing adequately can prevent inflamed gums and gum disease.
- Quit smoking and limit alcohol – Since the side effects of these include dry mouth, tooth discolorations, and other oral issues, it’s crucial to create a plan to limit or stop this.
- Drink water regularly throughout the day – Due to prescriptions, age-related diseases, or chemotherapy, one can experience dry mouth where not enough saliva is produced to wash away harmful bacteria in our mouth. Drinking water regularly can help to wash them away.
Why Choose SummerHouse Grayson Valley?
At SummerHouse Grayson Valley, we offer top-notch medical care on top of a warm and welcoming community that elicits feelings of closeness and familiarity. What’s different about us is the home-like atmosphere we’ve fostered, and that’s something you can only find here.