Oral Care for Seniors
April 26, 2021 / DENTISTRY
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Oral Care Advice for North York Seniors
Oral hygiene is an important part of your overall health and well-being, for seniors, adults and children alike. Here are some tips on maintaining good oral health from your friends at Lawrence Avenue Dental.
Let’s start by describing some conditions that, if left untreated, can impact your oral health:
This condition causes bones to lose density and become more fragile and prone to breakage, including the bones in the mouth. When these bones become more fragile, teeth are more likely to become loose. In fact, women with osteoporosis are 3 times more likely to lose a tooth than women with average bone density.
Alzheimer’s patients often lose the ability to care for themselves, including the ability to care for their teeth. This is something that caregivers should watch out for.
This occurs when the tissue around the teeth (gums), get infected because of plaque buildup. It starts with gingivitis, which makes the gums red and swollen and prone to bleeding. If left untreated, gingivitis will often progress into gum disease.
Tooth or Root Decay
Tooth or root decay develops from gum recession, making it very important for seniors to carefully remove all plaque and food debris from their teeth and gums, Your dental hygienist is also a big help with this, because they scale beneath the gum line and root surfaces.
We take more medications as we age, and most have some side-effects. Many common medications reduce the amount of saliva produced by the mouth. This is important to monitor because saliva plays a big role in rinsing food particles away from your teeth and gums, and keeping your mouth clean.
Now that you know about the conditions to watch out for, here’s what you can actually do to prevent them:
- See your North York dentist regularly, even if you wear dentures
- Brush twice a day using a soft toothbrush and a toothpaste with fluoride
- Clean in between your teeth by flossing once daily
- Focus your diet on healthy, natural foods and avoid foods and drinks with a lot of sugar or starch
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking causes mouth and throat cancer, plus it stains your teeth
- If you have dry mouth as a side-effect of a medication, talk to your doctor to see if there’s an alternative you can take. If not, be sure to drink plenty of water
Your dental team, at Lawrence Avenue Dental in North York, is your best friend in terms of maintaining a healthy mouth, so call us if you have a concern, and make sure to come see us regularly!