Dental health is always important. But it becomes even more essential when we grow older. We become more prone to dental issues as we age.
Fortunately, with the proper care techniques, you can keep your teeth healthy and avoid dental issues at any age. Here are the steps you should take to ensure optimal dental health.
Common Dental Problems That Affect Seniors
· Gum Disease: CDC statistics show that 70% of seniors over 65 have gum disease. The condition occurs when bacteria in the mouth infect the gums. Risk factors include poor dental hygiene, crooked teeth, and diabetes.
· Tooth Loss: People who don’t care for their teeth are prone to tooth loss. A study review shows that seniors 65 and over have an average of only 20.7 remaining teeth. 17.3% of seniors have no remaining teeth.
· Diabetes: Diabetes is more prevalent in older adults. It causes excess glucose in the saliva which feeds bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria is more likely to affect the gums and cause gum disease. Gum disease causes blood sugar to rise creating a vicious cycle.
· Pneumonia: People who don’t care for their teeth may have food particles in their mouth. They may inhale food particles along with bacteria. They can get into the lungs and cause pneumonia. The illness is more likely to occur in seniors because they tend to have low immunity.
· Heart Problems: Mouth infections can spread to the heart. They can cause endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart’s inner lining. They are especially dangerous in seniors who are prone to heart disease.
· Dry Mouth: A senior’s medications can cause dry mouth which increases the risk of bacteria buildup.
How to Maintain Oral Health in Your Senior Years
· Quit Smoking: Smoking is linked to tooth decay and oral cancer. The sooner you quit smoking, the better.
· Practice Proper Dental Hygiene: Keep your teeth healthy by brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing once daily. If you have difficulty operating a toothbrush due to arthritis, an electric toothbrush may be easier to use.
· Clean Your Dentures: Dentures are a magnet for bacteria. If you wear dentures, clean them every night. Ask your dentist to clean them thoroughly during dental visits.
· Eat a Healthy Diet: Some foods help prevent tooth decay. Incorporate calcium-rich food in your diet to keep enamel strong. Fruits and vegetables clean your teeth, freshen your breath, and reduce bacteria.
· Visit Your Dentist: Visit your dentist at least twice a year. They will clean your teeth and dentures. They will provide checkups and screenings to prevent dental issues and gum disease.
Absolute Smile Will Help You at Maintaining Oral Health at Any Age
Absolute Smile offers high-quality dental work in Philadelphia, PA. We provide various services such as cosmetic dentistry, implants, Invisalign, veneers, and more. Our gentle and compassionate staff will put you at ease when you’re in the chair.
Contact us to discover how we can help you maintain optimal dental health at any age.