The natural aging process takes a toll on our bodies whether we want it to or not. The aging process can affect how fast we can walk, how much we can lift and if our eyesight is still in good enough condition to be able to drive on the roads. Furthermore when we reach our golden years the aging process can also take a toll on our teeth. According to Statistics Canada, 30% of Canadians 65 or older have reported complete tooth loss.
However it isn’t all doom and gloom for seniors. Although you can’t stop the natural aging process, you can fight back and take your oral care up a notch to maintain great oral health and to keep your teeth intact.
Here are three common oral health issues affecting seniors and how to fight it.
1. Cavities – Seniors are more at risk of developing cavities than any other demographic. It is essential you cut down on sugary foods and beverages and make sure you’re brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. In addition teeth usually become really sensitive during one’s senior years as gums naturally recede over time exposing areas of the tooth that are not protected by enamel. It is suggested that you buy anti-sensitive toothpaste to accommodate your sensitive teeth.
2. Poor Denture Care – Just because dentures aren’t your real teeth doesn’t mean you don’t have to take care of them. You have to treat your dentures just like if they were your natural teeth to avoid oral health problems such as gum disease. By not taking care of your dentures properly, plaque can easily build up underneath your dentures and irritate your gums leading your gums to become swollen and bloody. Clean your dentures regularly to avoid plaque build up and soak your dentures at night before you sleep in a cleaning solution; ask your dentist for a recommendation for a cleaning solution that’s best for your dentures.
3. Dry Mouth – When a person’s mouth is dry, production of saliva decreases. Saliva production is essential for having a clean mouth as saliva helps clear out bacteria sitting in your mouth. Some seniors may be taking medications to help with different health issues such as diabetes or high blood pressure and these medications have some side effects such as dry mouth. If dry mouth is a result of your medication prescription, set up an appointment with your dentist as they will be able to recommend you various methods that can return moisture into your mouth without affecting your medication dosage.
Even if you have gum disease at this point in your life, if it is still in its early stages, gum disease can be reversible with proper dental cleanings and improve oral care. Book an appointment with your local dentist so they can examine your oral health and what recommendations they can offer you to help you get better fast.