According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 17% of people aged 65 and above suffer from periodontal disease. They are at a risk of developing a host of dental problems including darkened teeth, tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, uneven jawbone, and more. To combat these problems, elderly dental care is overly important. Nonetheless, due to advancing age and certain medical conditions, achieving optimum dental health for seniors is a vicious cycle. If you are aging, or you live with old parents or grandparents, below are some oral health tips you should keep in mind.
Brush and Floss Teeth Daily
For seniors who are lucky to have their natural teeth, brushing and flossing are activities they should treat with utmost seriousness. If oral hygiene is neglected, plaque can build up quickly, and this may lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
It is important for the elderly not to apply too much pressure when brushing. Doing this could cause the abrasion of the gum tissue and the enamel, resulting in teeth sensitivity. It is recommended that these individuals, (and everyone else for that matter) use their non-dominant hand when brushing for the best results.
Examine the Toothbrush!
When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush, or that of your old parents? You probably do not remember, right? For the best dental care for the elderly, it is critical to evaluate the bristle stiffness of the toothbrushes they use and replace them if the need arises. Doing this keeps diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis at bay.
For the elderly to achieve desirable dental health, they need to avoid tobacco at all costs. Research shows that people who smoke are at a higher risk of gum infection than those who do not. Additionally, smoking further weakens their already dwindling immune system, and this makes it difficult to fight off gum infection and other dental problems.
Whether you use tobacco in the form of pipes, dip cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, know that it raises your risk of periodontal disease, and most treatments might not work for you. The best dental care advice for old people is to avoid tobacco, and for those who smoke, they need to quit as soon as now!
Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle
Some health issues such as diabetes could lead to dental issues. To avoid these destructive lifestyle ailments and promote healthy gums and teeth, eat nutrient-rich foods from all food groups. This is a solid dental tip that will also improve your quality of life.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Even though the tips outlined above will work magic for your dental health as an elderly person, you need to seek oral healthcare constantly. Consider visiting your dentist every six months for a thorough dental examination. Also, visit the dentist sooner if you:
- Need teeth extraction services
- Noticed some weird changes in your mouth such as bumps, lumps, or swelling
- Have any sores, bleeding, discomfort, or pain in your mouth
- Have experienced difficulty in chewing, tasting, or swallowing
A dentist will examine these problems, identify the cause, and provide a workable solution. If you have missing, decaying, or discolored teeth, a professional will even recommend smile makeover options that will brighten your look even at old age.
Finding the ideal dentist for the elderly is not easy. With the right experience, knowledge, and skillset, Dr. Alex Rubinov can help with all periodontal problems and improve your oral health. Call today on (718) 253-0800 to schedule an appointment. We are eager to serve you!