As we grow older, it’s vitally important to be aware of conditions associated with ageing that can impact oral health. Most people know that regular medical check-ups are important.
But most of us don’t realise that the health of our mouth is important not only for our oral health, but for our overall health as well. The mouth is a door to the rest of the body and affects the rest of the body.
And as we all strive to age gracefully, keeping our dental health should be a high priority, as it can determine so much about our general health – maintaining dental health is one of the smartest things you can do for your body.
Warner Lakes Dental would like to share some valuable information you need to maintain a healthy mouth, teeth, and gums – to live a healthier life as the years go by.
Elderly Patients Face Increased Risk Factors
Some of the oral health problems seniors might face include the following:
- Darker teeth because of changes in dentin (the bone-like tissue below the tooth enamel) or staining
- Dry mouth, either from the natural ageing process or because of treatment or medications
- Stomatitis (oral inflammation and ulcers) caused by dentures that don’t fit properly, poor dental hygiene, or a buildup of tartar
- Reduced sense of taste, either because of advancing age or disease, medications, or dentures
- Gum disease caused by plaque buildup, poor nutrition, tobacco use, ill-fitting bridges or dentures, or diseases such as cancer and diabetes
- Root decay because tooth roots are exposed as gum tissue recedes, and roots are more susceptible to decay
- Tooth loss from gum disease or other oral problems
The Importance of Senior Dental Care
Even if you’ve lost some teeth or have permanent stains and discolouration, proper hygiene and dental care is still critical. The health of your teeth and mouth can have an impact on your heart, digestion, and immune system, so maintaining healthy teeth and gums should remain a priority even if you aren’t that concerned about your teeth.
Not so long ago, oral hygiene was not considered that important in one’s overall general health, but today, science has proven there is a strong link between them.
A poor oral hygiene regimen can be a bacterial breeding ground and when oral hygiene is neglected or ignored it will eventually cause periodontal disease.
Here are only some of the medical conditions linked to poor oral hygiene:
- Heart disease
- Systemic Inflammation.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Lung Condition such as COPD
So, as you can see, as you head into your golden years, your dental health is more important than you might have thought!
Tips and Tricks for Better Care
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. If it’s difficult to hold the toothbrush, ask your dentist for other options that can help you.
- Floss once a day to clean between teeth.
- Get regular dental checkups, even if you have dentures.
- Limit intake of starchy snacks, sugared candy, and sugary drinks. When you do snack, remember to brush your teeth afterward. Even rinsing your mouth with water after snacks can reduce the risk of decay.
- Manage dry mouth symptoms. Some health conditions and many medications can cause dry mouth. Drink extra water (fluoridated is best) or use sugar-free gum, candy, or mints to moisten your mouth (those made with xylitol are best). Saliva substitutes and oral moisturizers can also be effective. Talk to your pharmacist or dentist about other options.
- If you have diabetes, pay extra attention to your oral health. People with diabetes may have more gum problems, which can make it harder to control blood sugar.
- Ask your dentist or doctor about extra fluoride. Fluoride protects against tooth decay.
- Check your mouth regularly for sores. If you notice any unusual lumps, bumps, or sores that don’t resolve within two weeks, see your doctor or dentist.
- Don’t use tobacco.
And, of course, visit us at Warner Lakes Dental!
The Warner Lakes Dental Care Experience
Warner Lakes Dental is a family friendly, prevention oriented, patient-centred dental office that offers a full range of services to our community, including to patients of all ages.
Warner Lakes Dental wants your visit to be the easiest and most comfortable dental experience that you’ve ever had, and one with little or no anxiety! From parking to treatment, we try to make the entire process as simple and painless as possible!
Visit us at our conveniently located office: 1185 Old North Road Warner QLD 4500.