What Do We Know About Seniors’ Dental Care?

As people get older, they are almost certain to lose their teeth.

However, this does not need to happen when they have the right home dental care and get help from their dentist. No matter how young or old a person is, he/she can avoid tooth decay and gum disease.

Dental Problems That Older People May Have

Gums tend to recede as people age and as a result, teeth become more sensitive than usual. Dentists can show them the best way to brush teeth and keep gum problems under control as well as recommend an ideal mouthwash for sensitive teeth.

It can be more challenging to clean teeth the proper way when people have a hard time using their hands and arms or if they have trouble seeing clearly because of poor eyesight. The dental team can advise seniors on the best aids, which include good lighting and a magnifying mirror.

If they have some missing teeth, bridges or dentures, they may have some issues and cleaning needs in particular. This is when a dental team can help.

Some of them are under regular medications that tend to make their mouth dry. Saliva can help protect against tooth decay. If they do not have much saliva, they should ask advice from their dental team. They can also buy artificial saliva or similar products from many pharmacies even without a prescription.

Gum Problems to be Expected

Plaque, which is an accumulation of bacteria, causes gum disease. It continues to form on the teeth so it should be removed to prevent inflammation or soreness and swelling of gums. When plaque is not taken out, the gum disease will eventually harm the bone underneath the gums. Since this bone holds the tooth roots, the teeth may become lose little by little.

Signs of Gum Disease

Gum disease seldom causes pain so a lot of people wouldn’t know if they have it. The common signs include:

  • Bleeding gums when brushed;
  • Receding gums;
  • Loose teeth;
  • Bad breath.

However, these signs may not be experienced by everyone. Perhaps, they may just have one.

Possibility of Getting Tooth Decay

Anyone can get tooth decay, which can be caused by the same plaque that makes gums inflamed, especially when frequently consuming sweet drinks and foods. The risk of getting tooth decay is higher at the edge of the gum when it has receded since enamel (hard coating, which covers nearly the whole tooth) does not protect the “neck” of the tooth.

Tools Needed for Proper Cleaning of Teeth

To clean teeth properly, people need a soft to medium toothbrush with a small head plus a fluoride toothpaste. They can also use a floss, tape or “interdental brush” to clean thoroughly between teeth. Those with arthritis can use handle adapters if it is hard for them to grip a toothbrush.

If they have limited movement, they will find it convenient to use electric or “power” toothbrushes. It is easier to hold their thicker handles plus the oscillating head does majority of the job.

Furthermore, power toothbrushes have proven to be more effective in removing more plaque as compared to manual toothbrushes so this is big advantage. Their dental team can help in deciding which of the many products available are best for them.