Oral Health for Seniors

Posted on March 29th, 2019

Taking care of your mouth is important regardless of your age, but as we age there are extra issues that become more likely. There are issues like teeth loss, denture care, gum disease, and discoloration. We are going to cover some of the common issues that seniors experience with their oral health, and how to prevent some of them!

Dry mouth

The average person produces around a quart and a half of saliva each day. Salvia is used for flushing food and bacteria away from your teeth. This will help prevent issues like cavities, bad breath, and other problems. Unfortunately, many medications that seniors take, contribute to dry mouth which as stated above can lead to many more cavities, tooth decay, etc.

 

Tooth loss

This oral issue is very common for seniors. The average senior over the age of 65 has 19 teeth left. Over a quarter of seniors have no teeth left. So obviously tooth loss is an issue! Poor oral hygiene and smoking are major factors in why tooth loss is common. You should be visiting your dentist frequently so they can assist with any tooth loss. They will look at options to assist you with being able to eat, smile, and talk normally!

 

Bad Breath

Many seniors have to deal with bad breath. This can make social interaction difficult. Bad breath doesn’t just happen on its own. Bad breath is caused by some other issue. For example, this could be dry mouth or gum disease. Cavities can also cause bad breath. If you have poor oral hygiene then this also could be the cause, but this is usually easier to fix the problem.

 

Tooth discoloration

It is common for teeth to darken as you age. While dental care can help minimize this, some darkening is impossible to prevent. Avoiding liquids like coffee, tea, and dark soda, is effective in keeping your teeth whiter. If you are unhappy with the quality of your teeth, then you need to talk to your dentist. They can give you options to make your teeth whiter. This includes teeth whitening or dental veneers.

 

Denture care

The other issue we see that many seniors suffer from is poor denture care. Many people think that dentures are stronger than real teeth, but the opposite is actually true. They require as much care as your real teeth! You need to brush and clean them often if you want them to stay white or avoid damage. Plaque can also build up on dentures, which can then lead to gum disease and other problems.

These are 5 of the most common oral health issues that seniors will have to work to prevent. The best way to prevent these issues is to have good oral hygiene and visit your dentist at least twice per year. It might be necessary to visit the dentist more frequently. Take the advice that your dentist gives you, and you should have great teeth for your entire life!