Dental Guides

Dental Care for Senior Citizens

The older you get, the more likely tooth problems develop, which is why dental care during the prime years of your life should be given more attention than before. Teeth becomes sensitive and brittle. And this may be because your body's cells are also ageing that its ability to function well, such as with the proper distribution nutrients throughout the body, is diminished.

Dental care in old age is not something you should neglect, especially since studies have linked poor oral health to more serious problems affecting other organs.

Common Dental Concerns In Old Age

Gum Disease. Tartar and plaque can develop and lead to the degeneration of the gums in old age. And many factors affect why this happens but the most common reason would be the improper brushing and flossing of the teeth, or in fact, not brushing and flossing enough. Sometimes, brushing and flossing may be focused on just one part of the teeth, while neglecting another area, when proper brushing means that all bases must be covered.

Root Decay. As a result of gum disease, the roots of the teeth may start to feel more sensitive. Nerves could erupt and inflame, which can get very painful. Pain relievers can help alleviate this, but when the pain is gone, it may be necessary to do a root canal and kill the nerves so that this doesn't occur again. This way, the original teeth is also preserved, which to dental health professionals, is always a good thing.

Use of Dentures.  Dental problems arise when the dentures and other dental appliance may no longer fit correctly in the mouth, causing pain and discomfort when speaking or eating. Food can stick and accumulate in between the niches and crevices of it, too, or the denture itself is not being properly cleaned, thus also allowing tartar and plaque to form. An adjustment or replacement should be done to the dental appliance, so that it doesn't lead to any more complications. In other cases, a senior may actually need to get new dentures due to tooth loss. You won't be able to chew your food properly without this, and this may cause indigestion and other health problems that would be a challenge to deal with.

Discoloration. Teeth darkening may be due to years of eating and drinking highly pigmented food and beverages, while not getting professional cleaning or administering proper oral care in between. Bleaching, with the use of a special toothpaste or some other oral hygiene tool, may help. But it's always good to visit a hygienist every so often for this. While discoloration is only a minor problem, being old doesn't mean you'd have to be deprived of a toothy white smile.

At whatever age, proper oral care is important for two reasons: prevention and maintenance. With senior citizens, it's all the more necessary considering they are no longer covered by dental insurance. If they are no longer able to do this themselves, family members should pay attention and provide oral care for the senior.

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