Medical advances, scientific research, and improvements in nutrition have combined with public safety awareness campaigns and better education to help people live longer than ever before. Since you have a better chance of getting into your senior years as well as having a reasonable expectation of more of them if you’re already there. With your hopefully golden years, though, comes responsibilities. One of them is continuing your proper oral care, which is more essential than at any point before in your life.
There are some oral health issues common to seniors. Individuals of other ages can fall prey to these issues, but seniors are increasingly susceptible. These include cavities, dry mouth, xerostomia, coronal and root caries, and periodontal or gum disease. Other possible issues include denture stomatitis, tooth loss, tooth decay, gum pockets, plaque problems, and cancer of the tongue, throat, or mouth. Finding a good dentist for a simple root canal could be challenging.
Fortunately, there are many ways to maintain your oral health in the senior years of your life, and they are simple enough to easily incorporate into your daily lifestyle. It’s best to brush twice a day, which you hopefully have already been doing all your life. If not, it’s not too late to start now. Also floss daily. Mouthwash is also useful, but only if you can do it without swallowing. Also, if you have any dental devices like implants or dentures, you might have to take additional care of them.
Talking to your dentist is always a good idea as you get into your senior years, and if you don’t have a dentist already, you should line one up soon. Noticing any changes in your oral health whatsoever, is something you need to bring to your dentist’s attention, whether it’s the most minor of pain or a loose tooth.
Your dentist should be someone you can afford, obviously, and preferably in a convenient location. However, one critical aspect of a dentist you trust your health with is the ability to feel comfortable telling him or her about anything you think might be wrong and asking questions. You might have to let them know what medications you’re on at the time. For instance, many medications that are prescribed to seniors have dry mouth as one of their side effects, and that can be highly damaging to the oral health of a person.
Roughly one in three senior citizens suffers dry mouth, specifically from medications. These medications are both prescriptions and over the counter. They are used to treat high blood pressure, Parkinson’s diseases, and urinary incontinence, while others are muscle relaxants and antidepressants.
You should talk to your dentist about how to handle side effects of your medications, as well as finding the right brush to use on permanent teeth, implants, and dentures. Bring your current dental tools with you to get approval or upgrade recommendations.