Oral Health for Seniors

Seniors.

A healthy mouth in our older years is a crucial quality-of-life concern. Tooth decay, gum disease and the tooth loss that may result can affect our ability to eat, speak and laugh with ease. But tooth loss is by no means an inevitable part of aging; rather, it’s a result of poor oral health — something you can actively prevent!

Maintaining oral health as we age comes with its own special challenges, and may require help from grown children or home health aides. Arthritis, for example, can make holding a toothbrush or working floss around a tooth difficult. If you are having trouble keeping up with an effective daily oral hygiene routine, it’s more important than ever that you see your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. Your dentist will also screen you for oral cancer, and check whether removable dentures (if you wear them) need adjustment.

Another reason to see the dentist regularly is that age-related changes within the tooth structure can reduce pain perception, meaning that serious dental concerns can go unnoticed. Therefore, don’t rely on lack of pain as an indicator of good dental health. Also, be aware that many medications taken by older Americans can dry out the mouth. This common side effect is more than just an annoyance: A chronically dry mouth can promote tooth decay. If you are experiencing a dry mouth, it’s important to discuss this with your dentist.



Featured Topics

Dry Mouth

A common side effect of many medications.

Gum Disease

Do you know the signs?

Root Canals

There’s no reason to fear them!

Dental Anxiety

Can dental care be stress-free?

Nutrition

A healthy diet for healthy teeth.

Dentures

A time-tested way to get back your smile.

Oral Cancer

Regular screenings could save your life!

Tooth Loss

What are your options for tooth replacement?