Dental Care for Seniors - Premier Dentistry of Eagle

Dental Care for Seniors

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Dental Care for Seniors

As we grow older we notice more and more the effects that aging has on our bodies. A lot changes as we age, and so should your dental care routine. As we grow in age, we’re more susceptible to conditions like gum disease, tooth loss, dry mouth, and more. It’s important to switch up your dental routine as the conditions you’re fighting change. Here are some tips for seniors on how to keep up with dental health. 

Common Dental Problems for Senior Citizens 

Senior citizens are those who are at an age in which they can retire from working. The age considered to be senior citizen changes with who you ask, but the Social Security Office reports that 67 is the average age of retirement. 

As we age, we’re naturally prone to encountering more health problems. Common dental problems that dentists see in seniors, according to WedMD, are: 

Stained teeth 

This is most commonly caused by changes in dentin, which is the bone-like tissue that underlies the tooth enamel. In addition, stained teeth are also caused by food and beverages. However, sometimes darkened teeth can be more than just stains, it could signal a more serious health problem. 

Dry mouth 

Saliva flow can slow depending on a number of factors, but one of those being medication. This isn’t a common part of aging, but according to the American Dental Association, dry mouth is a side effect of over 500 medications. They recommend the trying the following for dry mouth relief: 

  • Try over-the-counter mouthwashes
  • Talk with your prescribing physician about altering the dosage or changing medications
  • Drinking more water and don’t just drink when you’re thirsty
  • Use sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production 
  • Get a humidifier 
  • Avoid irritating beverages, like caffeine or carbonated/acidic drinks
  • Asking for a fluoride gel from your dentist 

Loss of taste

Advancing age can impair the senses, taste being one of them. It can also be caused by disease, medication, or even with the use of dentures. 

Root decay

When the tooth root is exposed and comes in contact with decay-causing acids, the roots can become decayed.

Gum disease

Caused by plaque and improper dental hygiene in any age, but it can also target seniors who have poor-fitting bridges and dentures, poor diets, anemia, cancer, or diabetes. This can also cause tooth loss.

Uneven jawbone

When teeth are lost and not replaced, it can allow shifting of the teeth and cause unevenness in the mouth.

Denture-induced stomatitis

This is caused by dentures that don’t fit, along with dental hygiene and a build up of fungus. This causes inflammation in the underlying tissue.

Thrush

Medications and various diseases that affect the immune system can trigger fungus overgrowth, Candida, in the mouth.

These problems can affect people at any age, but with health problems that arise as we age, seniors are more at risk than other parties. 

Preventing Dental Problems

As we suggest to patients of any age, good oral care at home helps prevent bigger dental problems. Brushing and flossing twice daily helps keep your natural teeth in good oral health. Plaque can build up more quickly on seniors, which is even more true if dental hygiene is detected. 

To prevent dental issues associated with aging, be sure to maintain your at-home oral hygiene which includes: brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, and to keep visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. 

Instructions for Caregivers 

If you are a caregiver taking care of a loved one who’s disabled or elderly, it’s crucial that you help them maintain a healthy mouth by reminding them to brush and floss, and if they’re not able, helping them with the task. It’s also important that they get to a dentist often. Ideally, before problems arise, to help keep their smiles healthy. Bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled to the lungs, called pulmonary actinomycosis, causing more severe health problems. In some cases, could have been prevented by keeping the teeth and mouth clean. 

Senior Dental Care at Premier Dentistry of Eagle

At Premier Dentistry of Eagle, we will work to keep your mouth healthy at any age. Keeping your mouth healthy through dental exams and routine cleanings is critical in removing plaque, which can buildup at a fast rate as we age. Please call our office today and schedule an appointment so you can get a healthy and happy smile you deserve: (208)-546-0655. 

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