Tag Archives: seniors

Even Seniors Get Cavities

Even Seniors Get CavitiesEven Seniors Get Cavities

As we entered the new millennium, it was discovered that seniors were getting more dental cavities than children. Today, children and seniors are still the two highest at-risk groups for tooth decay. Aging puts us at greater risk for dental problems. The wearing away of tooth enamel, receding gums and loss of jawbone are signs that our mouths are aging along with our bodies.
Fortunately, there are now dental technologies and treatments to keep our smiles intact longer. That’s great news for seniors. The bad news is anyone with natural teeth can get dental cavities. And the longer we have our teeth, the more we expose them to the elements that can cause tooth decay.
Unfortunately, geriatric teeth are less able to handle the normal wear and tear of those in younger generations. There are several reasons why seniors may be prone to more dental cavities:
·        Difficulty brushing & flossing
·        Not enough fluoride
·        Gum disease
·        Dry mouth
·        Poor diet
There are several ways seniors can stay cavity-free. A diet low in sugar and high in calcium promotes tooth health. Fluoride toothpastes, mouth rinses or tablets can help. Drinking water, sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugarless gum promotes saliva production and reduces dry mouth.
For seniors with mobility or dexterity problems, wrap tape or an elastic bandage around the toothbrush. If a wider grip is needed, try taping a tennis ball, sponge or rubber bicycle grip to the handle. An electric toothbrush may also be helpful for those who cannot maneuver a manual toothbrush easily. And daily flossing should not be forgotten, either — floss holders and waxed floss may make it easier for seniors to continue their oral hygiene routine.
Because of the special dental needs of seniors, regular dental visits are still essential. We use this time to check for the dental problems that affect older patients, including cavities, gum disease, root decay and oral cancer.
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Mouth Healthy Over 60

60 AND OVER

Just 60 years ago, it was an assumption that as we age we would lose our natural teeth. But, that’s not the case for today’s older adults who are keeping their natural teeth longer than ever before. A healthy mouth and teeth help you look good, eat delicious and nutritious foods, and speak clearly and confidently.

Your mouth is the gateway to your body

Maintaining good oral health habits now is especially important because unhealthy bacteria in the mouth not only can harm your teeth and gums but may be associated with serious medical conditions. Research has shown that infections in the mouth may be associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia and other health problems that are common in older adults. It really only takes a few simple steps, brushing and flossing daily, visiting your dentist regularly and eating nutritious foods to be Mouth Healthy for Life.

Image of electric toothbrush

 

Brush and Floss Daily  

Brushing and flossing your teeth is just as important for you as it is for your grandchildren. Even though it may have been years since you’ve had a cavity, your risk of cavities increases with age. One of the reasons is dry mouth—a common side effect of many prescription medications.

Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head to get to those hard to reach areas. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles becomes frayed. If you have arthritis or other condition that limits movement, try an electric toothbrush.

Clean between teeth daily with floss. If floss is too difficult to work with, try a floss pick or tiny brushes made specifically to clean between teeth.

Visit a Dentist Regularly  

Get regular dental checkups at least once a year – please do not wait until you have pain. Why? As you age, the nerves inside your teeth become smaller and less sensitive. By the time you feel pain from a cavity, it may be too late and you may lose your tooth. There are also more serious conditions that your dentist will look for, like oral cancer and gum disease, which do not always cause pain until the advanced stages of the disease. By then, it’s more difficult and costly to treat.

For more information visit http://www.mouthhealthy.org

For any oral health concerns Contact Glasscock Dental

8430 Univ. Exec. Park Drive Suite 610 Charlotte, NC 28262