As you age, your oral health undergoes various changes, which can significantly impact the condition of your teeth and gums. Seniors face unique oral hygiene challenges, but by understanding the risks and learning good habits, older adults can enjoy a healthy mouth throughout their golden years. Here’s what to consider.
Oral health changes with age
Natural wear and tear on teeth will occur over time, leading to diminished enamel and increased susceptibility to dental problems. Additionally, gum tissues may recede, exposing tooth roots and making them more sensitive. Salivary flow can also decrease, which reduces the mouth's natural ability to combat harmful bacteria.
Common dental issues for seniors
Some common dental problems for older adults include:
· Tooth decay. Seniors are still susceptible to cavities, especially around older dental restorations like fillings and crowns.
· Gum disease. The risk of gum disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, increases with age due to decreased immune responses and chronic inflammation.
· Tooth sensitivity. As gums recede, tooth roots become exposed, leading to increased sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks.
Many seniors take medications for various health conditions. Some of these medications, particularly those that cause dry mouth, can have adverse effects on oral health.
Choosing the right tools and techniques
Choose soft-bristle toothbrushes and use specially designed toothpaste for sensitive teeth to help reduce discomfort. Proper brushing techniques, including gentle, circular motions, are recommended to minimize damage to enamel and gums. Regular flossing or using interdental brushes is also an essential part of teeth cleaning.
Importance of professional dental care
Regular dental check-ups are essential for seniors. Dentists can identify and address oral health issues early, preventing more significant problems. Professional teeth cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup, reducing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Balanced diet for healthy teeth and gums
A balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is vital for maintaining strong teeth and bones. Avoid excessive sugary snacks and beverages and focus on a diet that supports oral health.
Tips for daily oral care
Here are tips for maintaining good oral hygiene in later years:
· Stay hydrated to combat dry mouth
· Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash to reduce bacteria
· Replace toothbrushes and dental appliances regularly
In case of dental emergencies, such as a broken tooth or severe pain, seniors should contact their dentist promptly. Swift action can prevent complications and alleviate discomfort.
Teeth cleaning and dental services in London
At Cosmo Dental Centre, we provide family dentist services, including emergency dentist services, for people of all ages. Contact us today to book a teeth cleaning with a dental hygienist at our London clinic.