The Importance of Dental Care for Seniors
By Kellyn Hodges on May 07, 2019
Oral health is vital at any age, but as we reach our senior years, proper oral care becomes even more important than ever. Senior citizens face greater oral health risks than the general population, such as dry mouth, root decay, receding gums, and tooth loss.
At Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics, we offer dental care for seniors in the Philadelphia, PA area. Because aging increases the risk of various dental issues and conditions, seniors tend to require more restorative dental work, such as dentures and dental implants. We offer a comprehensive range of dental procedures to meet the needs of patients of all ages.
Common Oral Health Issues in Seniors
Some of the most common oral health issues in senior adults include:
- Dry mouth
- Root decay
- Gum disease
- Plaque buildup
- Oral thrush
- Darkened teeth
- Oral cancer
- Tooth loss
- Ill-fitting dentures
Dry mouth is a normal side effect to over 500 medications on the market. Some of those medications treat allergies, asthma, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, high cholesterol, pain, anxiety, and depression.
Dry mouth is also a common cause of cavities. To combat this, ask your physician if there are alternative medications without these negative side effects. Also, share your medication information with your dentist.
The chance of gum disease (periodontal disease) increases in older adults due to the bacteria found in plaque. This can irritate the gums, causing them to swell and bleed.
As this disease advances, it will eventually damage the gums, jaw bone, and ligaments that support the teeth, resulting in tooth loss. With regular dental visits to our Philadelphia practice and proper oral health care habits, gum disease is completely preventable.
Protect Your Smile
By following these tips at home, you can maintain good oral health and protect your smile.
- Avoid tobacco products
- Rinse with antibacterial mouthwash at least once a day
- Use a mouthwash or toothpaste that contains fluoride
- Stay hydrated
- Brush and rinse after every meal, or at least in the morning and at night
- Rinse your teeth with water after snacking
- Consume a healthy diet and limit snacks and drinks high in sugar
- Invest in an electric toothbrush. They are easier to grasp and will ensure you brush properly.
- Use a magnified illuminated mirror when brushing
- Visit your dentist every six months
Caring for Your Dentures
Proper care and maintenance of dentures will require a few extra steps at home to keep them clean and ensure they work effectively.
Thoroughly rinse your dentures after every meal. Brush your dentures with a soft-bristled toothbrush and soak them each night before bed in a dentist approved solution.
Be sure to brush your gums and any remaining natural teeth to remove plaque, food particles, and denture adhesive.
A High Standard of Care
We provide a wide range of dental services for patients of all ages. We offer tooth loss solutions, including dentures, full-mouth reconstruction, traditional bridges, and implant-supported crowns. We provide a high standard of care, dignity, and respect for every patient who comes through our doors.
Contact Us Today
With a family-like environment, you can rest assured that you’ll be in good hands. If you are looking for a dentist for you, or for your elderly parent, please contact us today online or by calling us in the Philadelphia area at (215) 245-5100 or (215) 883-0611.