Common Dental Problems for Seniors
5 Steps to Avoid Common Dental Problems for Seniors
Entering advanced age comes with its unique set of challenges when it comes to your health, especially your dental health. The good news is that you can still keep your beautiful smile far into your golden years. With good dental care habits, you can enjoy strong, healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime by avoiding these five common dental care mistakes.To keep your pearly whites in good condition for the long term, make sure to invest in the following action steps to help you manage into your golden years.
Here are the 5 most common dental problems for seniors:
Take advantage of fluoride to prevent cavity build-up.
Cavities can build up easily as you grow older because your teeth may not be as strong as they once were. Its surface may have thinned through the years, making them more exposed and prone to bacteria. Switch to a toothpaste or tooth gel with fluoride as an active ingredient. There are organic toothpaste options as well. Learn More About Toothpastes from the American Dental Association and ask your dentist about fluoride daily rinses that will be suitable for you.
Visit the dentist regularly to protect yourself against gum disease.
As you grow older, your dentist may prescribe a more frequent visiting schedule for you. This is because you may need to have more thorough and more recurrent sessions to clean your teeth and monitor the health of your gums. You wouldn’t want to end up with untreated gingivitis, which leads to a periodontist and may eventually cause serious tooth and bone loss in your jaw.
Keep yourself hydrated and if you must chew gum choose sugar-free xylitol gum to stimulate healthy saliva production.
Dry mouth during old age is often a side effect of certain medications. Smoking, and the simple reason of forgetting to drink lots of water daily, are also top causes of insufficient saliva production. But saliva is important because it contains specific substances that are essential in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Aside from chewing over-the-counter xylitol gum and drinking water throughout the day (set an alarm if necessary), your dentist may also prescribe a saliva substitute, depending on your condition.
Consult an orthodontist to treat tooth crowding.
Teeth shift and change position as you age. Sometimes the shift can cause tooth overcrowding or make an existing misalignment of teeth even worse. Misaligned teeth can be more prone to decay because they can be hard to clean, and are also at risk for tooth erosion and periodontal disease. An experienced dentist will be able to recognize this problem and offer a solution or a referral to a reputable Prescott Valley Orthodontist who will help you address the problem and prevent further damage.
Sign up for regular dental exams to check for oral cancer.
Oral cancer has been linked to certain habits such as alcohol use and smoking, and the risk goes higher as you get older. If it is discovered early, the chance of survival for 5 years can significantly increase. A dental exam to monitor the possibility or threat of oral cancer can prolong your life and give you peace of mind. Should you have any questions or concerns about your dental health, give us a call Dr. Costes and Dr. Reed are happy to help.