Dental Hygiene For Seniors & Elderly

When a loved one starts to get older and begins to experience health issues, it can be easy to overlook the basics, such as taking care of your teeth and mouth. As we age, our teeth and gums begin to erode and break down, and it’s more important than ever to make sure you are taking the appropriate steps to maintain a healthy, pain-free mouth!

Since many seniors have sensitive teeth and gums, you have to be careful that you choose a dentist who is able to take care of you with the necessary care and attention to detail. There are many different conditions and complications that can arise as you age in regards to your teeth, such as :

  • Gum Disease
  • Tooth Decay
  • Old Dental Work
  • Oral Cancer

Taking the time to understand your teeth and mouth is extremely important to living a healthy life. Being aware of the different issues that can come up in your mouth is a great first step. It all boils down to one main issue, however: controlling the various bacteria that live in your mouth! The bacteria in your mouth breaks down your enamel and roots of your teeth, which can cause decay and extreme sensitivity.

One of the most common problems with seniors when it comes to their mouth is constant dryness. This can be caused by a large range of things, such as medication’s side effects, treatments for various diseases or just plain genetics! Saliva is absolutely vital to a healthy mouth – without it, the bacteria inside would run rampant. Saliva is a key protector of your teeth, and helps to remove the toxins and other harmful bacteria that build up over time.

The number one solution to preventing tooth decay and helping with dental hygiene, no matter your age, is to limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks. Very acidic beverages such as soda and coffee can also contribute to tooth decay over time as well.

Gum disease is a serious problem – and one that can be prevented with routine dental cleanings. Periodontal (gum) disease is very common, and harms you by severely damaging the tissue, bones, and nerves around your teeth, which can result in severe tooth loss and other complications. Being consistent in your dental hygiene routines and using a toothpaste or mouthwash that helps with gum disease are a few steps you can take to help prevent it. Smoking and diabetes can also contribute to the chances of you encountering gum disease in your lifetime.

Proper dental hygiene is a process that takes place over your entire lifetime. Bad dental hygiene habits from your earlier years can come back to bite you as you age, and vice versa. Even if you have had beautiful teeth your whole life, failing to take care of them can cause issues to pop up quickly! If you are looking for the best care around, I highly recommend taking the time to ask the dental care facility any questions you may have about their cleaning process and the steps they take during the cleanings. Choosing the best dentist in Raleigh NC was somewhat of a hassle, but in the end, I decided to go with Dr. Russo for my senior family members because of his outstanding reviews and customer praise regarding his gentle nature and care of senior patients.