Dentistry for Seniors
Senior Adults Have Different Oral Care Needs
Our bodies change as we get older, including our teeth. Everyone is different, and these changes are based on our physical traits, lifestyle, medical conditions and nutritional habits. These changes take different forms in different people, depending on our inherited physical traits, our lifestyle and nutritional habits, and our medical conditions.
Some senior adults will experience dry mouth, due to a reduced flow of saliva. This is sometimes a side effect of medications. Dry mouth can cause sore throats, hoarseness and difficulty swallowing. If you don’t address your dry mouth, your teeth and gum can be damaged. Sometimes sugar free gum and hard candy can help solve dry mouth. If you have dry mouth, visit your local dentist to discuss solutions for this issue.
As we age, our fillings may weaken or crack. These cracks will cause decay around the filling and sometimes into the root of the tooth. When this happens, bacteria can seep into your tooth and cause even more decay. Gum disease can also result, and you could lose a tooth or weaken your jawbone. Don’t forget to schedule regular checkups to see the dentist so he can check on the condition of your teeth and gums.
Brushing our teeth and flossing, especially in the morning and at bedtime, will help keep the plaque from accumulating around your teeth. There are also commercial dental rinses that your dentist can recommend to help with plaque. As we age, plaque builds up more quickly and becomes harder to remove. Brush thoroughly but gently to keep from tearing your gums. If your gums are sensitive, consult your dentist. He may also recommend sensitive toothpaste to use.
Continued emphasis on good nutrition will have a positive impact on the health and strength of your teeth and gums. Regular checkups will help find any issues early. Your dentist can check your mouth for any problems you may be having. Don’t forget to mention (you can write down a list to take with you) any sores, swelling or pain in your mouth.
Schedule regular visits with your Idaho Falls dentist, Dr. Tom Anderson; brush and floss at least two times a day, and maintain a healthy diet. These tips will help you keep your natural teeth, and have a healthy, strong mouth.