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Importance of Oral Health Care for the Elderly

Senior citizens are more prone to tooth loss, toothaches, and periodontal diseases because of their cracked teeth and receded gums.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to practice good dental hygiene for the maintenance of quality oral health. Healthier and stronger teeth also enable older citizens to enjoy food and eat better. Moreover, good oral health improves the overall quality of life.

Brushing twice a day with a good fluoride-containing toothpaste and flossing regularly reduces the risk of gum diseases and oral cancer. Here’s an insight on the importance of good dental care for the elderly and some suggested improvements to help them make their teeth as sturdy as an oak!

Reasons to make elderly oral health care a top priority:-

Prevents tooth loss:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every one in five elderly people is suffering from tooth loss.

It makes chewing food much difficult and affects nutrition. Seniors with missing teeth are less likely to enjoy the bountiful taste of food, fresh vegetables, and fruits. Having a good morning and night time dental care routine can reduce the risk of tooth loss and gum damage. We have a wide range of antiseptic mouthwashes from renowned brands such as Colgate, Listerine, and Perio Plus. These oral rinses help in fighting harmful bacteria and prevent tooth loss and tooth decay.

Protection from periodontal diseases:

With growing age tooth enamel weakens which makes it susceptible to gum diseases called periodontal diseases. People suffering from such diseases tend to have sore, bleeding gums, dry mouth, and chewing problems. Flossing with a good water-based flosser after brushing teeth removes plaque and reduces the risk of periodontal diseases.

360 PRO WATER FLOSSER is specially designed for patients suffering from periodontal diseases. The product is user friendly with a long-lasting battery. 10/10 recommended!

It is suggested to brush your teeth after eating sugary meals. Brushing after meals helps in the removal of plaque trapped in between the teeth.

Manage dry mouth:

Elderly people are more prone to cavities because of dry mouth. Dry mouth is a condition caused by the side effects of certain drugs, commonly taken by senior citizens. It is advisable to incorporate our Xerostom mouthwash, gels, and toothpaste in your oral care routine for better results. Along with this drink plenty of water to produce more saliva and stay in contact with the dentist. Xerostom and Xylitol are well-known for promoting salivary flow and inducing natural saliva production. Increased saliva means quick teeth and mouth repair!

Enhanced bio-film due to xylitol will also help in reducing the side effects of certain medicines. Only incorporating xylitol in your daily dental care routine will reduce cavity-causing bacteria and heal dry mouth in no time. Easy enough, right?

 No benign mucosal lesions:

Mucosal lesions are the source of utmost pain for elderly people. The warty surface makes it difficult and painful to chew even the simplest things thus affecting the nutrition of senior citizens. Dental visits and regular oral health care can prevent these lesions from developing in the mouth. Darkened teeth may develop from thinning of the enamel layer with advanced years. Better to keep a check on the oral condition to stop the advancement of further diseases.

 Reduced risk of cardiac infections:

Inflammation caused by gum diseases and gingivitis causes blood vessel inflammation. This inflammation in turn leads to cardiac stroke and arterial blockage. The mouth acts as a gateway for infections. It is highly suggested to clean and brush teeth regularly with fluoride-containing tubes of toothpaste and use a water flosser religiously. Countless studies have proved that brushing twice a day reduces the risk of heart failure by 12%.

Reduced risk of oral cancer:

Older people are generally at higher risks of mouth cancer. This rate is much higher in the people who smoke tobacco and cigars. Regular dental appointments and the use of antiseptic mouthwashes can eliminate the risk of oral cancer.

Prevention from tooth decay:

Root decay is the condition in which a lesion develops on the surface of the root. This condition is more common in older citizens and can be due to poor oral hygiene and poor diet. Fluoride treatments are recommended in such conditions. Root decay makes the chewing process difficult due to which older people tend to get dehydrated and display poor nutritional behaviors.

Clean dentures for improved oral health:

Oral health care for the elderly is often complicated by past dental procedures such as crown and bridgework. If you are an elderly person who uses partial denture or if any senior citizen in your home uses dentures, CLEAN THEM REGULARLY. Being a dentist I cannot emphasize enough the importance of clean dentures. Unclean dentures are a popular source of pneumonia and MRSA. Make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush for brushing teeth. Use Piksters Oral Appliance Cleaning Kit for denture care. Rinse your dentures after cleaning to remove accumulated debris completely and efficiently.

Ditch dental caries:

Caries is often a result of age-related salivary changes, gingival recession, poor diet, and poor oral health. Toothpaste equipped with fluoride can help in the remineralization of the affected tooth thus maintaining natural teeth and avoiding the need for prostheses. This will potentially reduce the danger of caries penetrating the enamel. Improving overall oral health care creates immense effects on lifestyle.

Final thoughts:

Oral health care for the elderly involves a multi-disciplinary approach. Simple strategies such as brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and rinsing the mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash or mouth spray can help in the rapid reduction of gingivitis, periodontal diseases, cardiac stroke, and other diseases.

Good senior dental health care and regular dental check-ups can help prevent gum diseases and tooth decay thus keeping your pearly whites healthy. Older people are more susceptible to dental diseases. These diseases can affect their body in negative ways. Therefore it is recommended to maintain a good oral care regimen to ensure overall quality health. Your teeth are as vital as any other body organ. Treat them with love and care.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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