When you’re in your older years, it can feel like your dental health is the last thing on your mind. After all, why worry about cavities and gingivitis when you’re just about to retire?
Fortunately, there are a variety of senior citizens that prove this theory wrong. In fact, some seniors go above and beyond to keep their teeth in tip-top shape well into their golden years!
However, for many adults over the age of 65, poor dental hygiene can be an incredibly dangerous risk factor for other conditions. These include heart disease, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Consider these six dangers of poor dental hygiene if you’re an older adult or know someone who is.
Why Oral Care is Important for Seniors
General Health and Oral Health
The health of your oral cavity is closely tied to the health of your entire body. If you don’t take care of your teeth and gums now, you may be dealing with far worse issues later in life. These include diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
Brushing and flossing are two of the most effective ways to prevent cavities and gum disease. As you age, bad breath and tooth decay might get worse. And if you have diabetes, your risk of infection, gum disease and tooth decay is even higher.
Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about your oral health. They may recommend a special oral hygiene regime that’s more appropriate for your age and lifestyle as a senior.
For plaque prevention, your dentist might suggest SelenBio Dental products which uses a special FDA-approved dental sealant as a shield for your teeth. This way, you can guarantee your teeth are protected from tartar build-up.
Quality of Life and Oral Health
Your quality of life is highly dependent on properly taking care of your teeth and gums. If you neglect this part of your health, you may struggle to eat and may even avoid going out in public.
This can result in a significantly lower quality of life for you. While taking care of your teeth is important at any age, it’s especially important as you get older.
As you get older, you’re naturally more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. This is why it’s so important to find a dental hygiene routine that works for you, whether you prefer using a manual or electric toothbrush or regular dental visits.
Diabetes can cause serious damage to the tissues inside your mouth, which can lead to bad breath, infection, and even tooth loss. This is why it’s so important to practice good oral hygiene when you have diabetes.
You may want to use a special toothpaste or mouthwash, or you may even need to switch to using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Whether you have diabetes or not, it’s important to make sure you’re brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing once a day.
Gum Disease in Seniors
Gum disease is a serious dental issue that can lead to tooth loss, especially in seniors. Although it’s possible to treat gum disease, it’s important to catch it early. This means practicing good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly.
You can also use products designed to fight gum disease, such as an anti-gingivitis mouthwash or a special toothpaste. It’s important to remember that you can take care of your teeth in any age group.
If you or an elder in your life is having trouble taking care of their teeth, there are some things that you can do. You can try switching to a softer toothbrush, using a mouthwash, or even investing in a special water flosser.
Image source: Pexels.com
Aspiration pneumonia is a serious health risk for many seniors. It’s caused when an individual has a weak immune system and accidentally breathes in food particles or liquid.
Unfortunately, it can be especially dangerous for the elderly because their bodies struggle to fight off infections. If you or an elderly individual in your life suffers from a weak immune system, it’s best to avoid smoking and to brush your teeth after every meal.
As you get older, you may notice that your mouth feels drier than it used to. This is because many people experience some level of dry mouth as they get older. This happens because your salivary flow decreases.
Saliva is important because it helps to neutralize food acids and effectively sweeps food debris away from your teeth.
If you notice that your mouth is drier than normal, there are some things you can do to combat it. You can try using a non-alcoholic mouthwash, sipping water constantly, or even chewing sugarless gum while you’re out and about.
Ways to Ensure Good Oral Hygiene for Seniors
- Brush Twice a Day
The first way to ensure good oral hygiene for seniors is to brush their teeth twice a day. This will clean up your teeth and ensure no plaque or bacteria forms around the teeth and gums. It is important to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and to brush gently, as seniors may have sensitive gums.
- Floss Daily
Another way to ensure good oral hygiene for seniors is to floss daily. Flossing helps to remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth and gums. It is important to use a gentle flossing motion, as seniors may have sensitive gums.
- Use Mouthwash
The third way to ensure good oral hygiene for seniors is to use mouthwash. Mouthwash can help to further clean the mouth. Use a mouthwash that is alcohol-free, as alcohol can be drying and irritating to the mouth.
Image source: Pexels.com
- See a Dentist Regularly
The fourth way to ensure good oral hygiene for seniors is to see their dentist regularly. This way, their dentist will be able to identify and treat any problems that may arise. Try to find a dentist who is experienced in treating seniors, as they may have special needs.
At the end of the day, oral care is an essential part of staying healthy. It’s important to remember, though, that everyone is different, and not everyone brushes their teeth the same way.
It’s important to find a routine that works for you and stick to it. With the right tools and attitude, you can keep your teeth healthy and clean for as long as you want.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Old Age Affect Oral Health?
Old age can have several effects on oral health. For one, the risk for gum disease and tooth decay increases with age. In addition, the ability to produce saliva decreases with age, which can lead to a dry mouth and an increased risk for infection. Finally, the tissues in the mouth become thinner and more fragile with age, making them more susceptible to injury.
Why Do the Elderly Have Difficulty Chewing?
Elderly people often have difficulty chewing because they may have lost some of their teeth, or their teeth may be in poor condition. Additionally, they may have problems with their jaw muscles or with their ability to produce saliva, which can make it difficult to chew food properly.
Image source: Pexels.comShare on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn