Dental Care for Seniors – Oral Hygiene

Oral Hygiene Bakersfield, CA

Oral hygiene is critical for people of all ages, but it is especially important for the elderly. A person in their senior years may be more prone to dental problems such as cavities, gum disease and infections. If you are in this age group, you should follow your dentist’s recommendations to take good care of your teeth and gums.

Common oral hygiene issues among seniors

It is possible to suffer oral health problems during any stage of life. However, as people age, the probability grows that teeth, gums and the jawbone will develop dysfunctions and conditions. Gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis can occur due to plaque and particles of food in teeth. Tooth loss is also more prevalent among senior patients. Gum disease and decay can damage teeth and cause them to fall out. Older patients can also have a dry mouth, lessened sense of taste and darkened teeth.

Get back to the basics

From the youngest ages, it is vital that people brush and floss regularly. These simple activities help maintain strong, healthy, clean teeth and gums. Brushing helps reduce the risk of decay and strengthens the gums, while flossing will remove plaque and tartar. An individual should brush at least twice a day, preferably after every meal. It is important to floss daily. Another daily habit people can adopt is using a mouth rinse. This will help eliminate bacteria in the mouth.

Keep going to the dentist

Regular dental appointments are not just for children and young adults. Older patients also need to have semiannual checkups to maintain good oral hygiene. At these visits, the dentist can identify troubling conditions before they get worse. The examinations will also help keep patients’ teeth clean and gums healthy.

In-depth look

At a regular dental exam, the dentist can be more thorough and comprehensive than with younger patients. Senior patients can expect the dentist to look for sores in the mouth, moles or discoloration on the neck, and swelling or bumps on lymph nodes or salivary glands. The dentist will also ask detailed questions regarding any pain in the jaw or clicking and popping during eating.

Eating right

To minimize the possibility of getting cavities or infections, older patients should pay close attention to what they eat. Limiting sugary foods such as candy and other sweets, as well as soda and juice, will help keep cavities away. Patients who have dentures, implants, bridgework or crowns should avoid hard and sticky foods such as nuts, ice, jawbreakers, gum and caramel.

Stay committed

In your older years, it will be increasingly more essential to practice good oral hygiene. A host of dental problems could affect your mouth, teeth and gums. To avoid these painful, uncomfortable issues, make sure you continue to brush, floss and go to the dentist regularly. Never put off these steps and habits. Being vigilant will not only benefit your oral health but your overall wellness as well. Call your dentist today and make an appointment for your next checkup.

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