Your Oral Health and Aging
ORAL HEALTH CARE FOR SENIORS
Getting older is an excellent time — you retire to spend more time with your family and friends and travel across the world. Make the most of your golden years by taking the time to avoid common dental problems that could impact your quality of life. Once you reach age 55, you're at higher risk for several problems (such as tooth decay, dry mouth, and gum disease); however, this may be prevented with a dental hygiene regimen at home and trips to a dentist in Knoxville, TN. To get you ready for the way your dental health can change when you become older, our team at DentalWorks - NW Crossing TN shares a few of the dental problems we find in patients over 55 years of age and ways that you can enhance your health so that you prevent these issues.
COMMON ORAL HEALTH PROBLEMS IN SENIORS
- GUM DISEASE
If you did not have good dental hygiene habits when you were younger, it is likely catching up with you now. Seniors are at higher risk of gum disease, which develops from bacteria and plaque below the gumline. Gingivitis, the first phase of periodontal disease, may include signs including swollen, red gums that bleed easily.
- SENSITIVE TEETH
You may start to notice your teeth become more sensitive when you become older. This is frequently caused by worn enamel and dental conditions (as an example, a chipped tooth). If you're feeling a sharp ache when you drink or eat something that's particularly cold or hot, speak with a dentist about potential conditions that may be causing your tooth sensitivity and treatments to restore your teeth.
- TOOTH DECAY
Flossing and brushing daily together with routine appointments at your dentist will help you avoid dental decay. But if you have not been a faithful brusher, you may be dealing with tooth decay in your golden years. Untreated decay becomes a cavity, which can eventually ruin your entire tooth and then infect your other teeth. If a tooth has changed colors (gray or yellow) and is loose or sensitive, schedule a consultation with a dentist to get your tooth fixed.
- MISSING TEETH
The longer you live, the greater your odds are of losing your teeth. You may lose a tooth because of an accident, several because of a dental problem, or all of your teeth due to poor dental hygiene. In the event you lose one tooth (or several), speak with a dentist in Knoxville, TN about restoration dentistry. You might be a candidate to get a bridge or traditional dentures or an implanted restoration.
- DRY MOUTH
Many men and women find their mouth seems drier as they get older. It's not your imagination; chronic dry mouth is a common side effect of several drugs and cancer therapies (radiation and chemotherapy). If your physician writes you a prescription for a drug, ask whether dry mouth is a possible side effect. If it is, be certain to begin drinking water and chewing gum, which will stimulate saliva.
- WEAR AND TEAR
Sometimes called attrition, all of the years of biting and chewing wears down the enamel. This can make your teeth more sensitive and raise your chance of cavities and other issues. It may help your teeth to change to a toothbrush with soft bristles and also use minimal pressure.
TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR DENTAL HEALTH
- VISIT YOUR DENTIST
Go see a dentist in Knoxville, TN two or more times annually for a dental health exam and cleaning. These visits provide the chance to catch any issues in the early stages (as an example, gum disease and cavities), so that you have more treatment choices that are generally less invasive. Your dentist may check the fit and use of any restorations and also make suggestions about ways to enhance your oral health between visits.
- DON'T USE TOBACCO
There are a million reasons to stop, but using tobacco is bad for your oral (and general) wellness. Speak with your physician about cessation techniques that can help you stop smoking or chewing tobacco. E-cigarettes may also be harmful to your mouth, even if you don't add tobacco.
- STAY HYDRATED
A suggestion that is great for your dental and general health is drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Water keeps your mouth from becoming dry and washes bacteria away if you aren't able to brush. Tap water is generally preferable to bottled water because most tap water contains fluoride, which will help to strengthen your enamel. Attempt to restrict coffee and sodas since it can darken your smile and the acid weakens your enamel.
- RINSE WITH MOUTHWASH
A fantastic way to fight dry mouth and wash germs away is using mouthwash. Search for a mouthwash that's especially designed to help with dry mouth. You can also search for a moisturizing mouth spray to take with you for use when you aren't at home.
- FLOSS AND BRUSH EVERY DAY
Ideally, flossing and brushing daily is a habit you currently have. Make sure you get a new toothbrush every three months and also use a toothpaste with fluoride. Clean your gums, teeth, and tongue two times per day. Ensure that you're not brushing too harshly or using the incorrect kind of toothbrush since this may lead to sensitivity and damages your enamel. Ask your dental team to show proper techniques for flossing and brushing.
- TAKE CARE OF RESTORATIONS
In case you do not have all your natural teeth, then be certain that you're taking good care of your restoration(s). Implant-supported implants, crowns, and dentures must be brushed and flossed daily. Removable dentures must be removed during the night, cleaned, and then soaked. You can soak dentures in regular water or use a special cleaner. Schedule appointments with a dentist to assess the health and fit of your restoration.
GERIATRIC DENTISTRY IN Knoxville, TN
Ensure that you can enjoy your senior years with a healthy mouth. If you are over 55 years old, schedule a dental health exam and cleaning at DentalWorks - NW Crossing TN. Our experienced staff can help evaluate the condition of your gums, teeth, and jaw. We'll treat any conditions, assess the fit and wear of your restorations, and also offer you suggestions to help improve your oral health.
* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.