Oral Care is as Important as Ever for Seniors

morningstar general 12

Good oral hygiene is an essential part of maintaining one’s overall health and quality of life.  Even though seniors are living longer, it does not mean that they cannot keep their natural teeth.   Brushing at least twice daily, flossing, and regular visit to your dentist can prevent problems from occurring.

Seniors are at a greater risk for developing periodontal disease which is the inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria or plaque that forms on the teeth.  It is very common and one of the leading causes of tooth loss.  Signs of periodontal disease are bleeding gums, receding gums, bad breath, and shifting or loose teeth.  There is evidence to suggest that periodontal disease is linked to heart disease, stroke, and perhaps increases the complications of diabetes.

Dry mouth is another problem faced by some seniors. It can be caused by over 400 commonly prescribed medications such as those for high blood pressure, heart problems, and depression to name just a few, and also from radiation or chemotherapy treatments.  The danger with dry mouth is that it increases the chance of tooth decay or gum disease.  You need to take extra care that you are drinking plenty of water and stay away from caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and sugary foods.  There are some over-the-counter medications that can help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth.

If you do have dentures, be sure to take good care of them as they will last longer.  The average life of dentures is five to seven years and it is important to follow good cleaning procedures.  Brush your dentures daily with mild soap or denture paste, and if you are not going to wear them at night, soak them in water or denture cleaning solution (be sure to rinse them thoroughly afterward).

Receding gums caused by periodontal disease or the result of aging can increase the chance of tooth decay occurring at the gum line which causes serious problems to the roots.  Good dental care is the best tool in preventing further damage.  See your dentist at the first sign of any bleeding or pain in your mouth.

MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to value, to invest.”  We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing our seniors and hiring staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. To experience firsthand the finest senior living in the Phoenix area, contact us to schedule a tour.

 

Sources: seniorsoralhealth.org/

webmd.com/oral-health/guide/caring-dentures#1

 

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