Princess City Dental Care are experts in the areas of dental care that are important for seniors. Compassion, care and expertise are what you can count on us to provide when treating you or a loved one who is aging. We understand the physical challenges as well as the education and understanding that seniors need to have in order to feel knowledgeable and in control of their dental care.
Most adults can keep their natural teeth all of their lives. How your teeth and gums respond to age depends on how well you’ve cared for them over the years. But even if you’re meticulous about brushing and flossing, you may experience some of the following common oral health issues.
- Cavities and decay on the root surfaces of the teeth are more common in older adults.
- 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.
- Existing health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, can affect your oral health.
- Teeth may darken slightly and become more brittle and easier to break.
- Some older adults experience dry mouth (xerostomia), which can lead to tooth decay and infection. Dry mouth can also make speaking, swallowing and tasting difficult. It may be caused by medications or certain medical disorders.
- Oral cancer is more common among older adults. Your dentist checks for oral cancer during your regular cleanings and checkups.
- If you’ve lost most or all of your natural teeth, you may use dentures or dental implants as replacements. Crowns and bridges are used to strengthen damaged teeth or replace missing ones.
- Gum disease is a potentially serious condition that can affect people of all ages, but especially people over 40.
Dental Hygiene Tips for Seniors
- Brush, floss and rinse with mouthwash properly to maintain dental hygiene, as instructed by your dentist. Look into special toothbrushes to clean hard-to-reach areas of the mouth.
- Know the warning signs that indicate your mouth, teeth or gums may be in jeopardy, including tooth sensitivity, teeth grinding, pain, mouth sores, bumps (see oral cancer), swelling, loose teeth, jaw popping or clicking, difficulty quenching thirst, swallowing or chewing.
- Visit your dentist as often as he or she recommends for regular dental hygiene checkups.
- Maintain dental appliances such as dentures and dental bridges properly.
- Consider seeing your dentist before and after surgery.
- Tell your dentist about any medications that you are taking or changes to your medication.
- If brushing and flossing are difficult for you, try to elongate the toothbrush with tongue depressors or something similar, or ask for assistance.
- You may also try using a soft washcloth or gauze to remove debris from the teeth, rinsing frequently. Use this method until you are able to brush your teeth again.