HealthEssential Oral Health Tips for Seniors in Lorton VA

Essential Oral Health Tips for Seniors in Lorton VA

As people age, one common error they make is neglecting their oral health entirely. We’re not making this claim without evidence to back it up: according to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), 96% of adults over 65 have cavities requiring treatment; two out of three elderly have gum diseases; and 1 out of 5 adults have lost all their teeth due to poor dental hygiene practices. What’s worse? Older adults living with chronic diseases are at increased risk for periodontal diseases when following poor dental hygiene practices.

Ageing is an inevitable fact of life and with it comes an increased risk for general and oral health issues. As one age, it becomes even more essential to practice good oral hygiene to protect oneself against potentially harmful conditions that may develop later. Older adults are especially prone to oral cancer, dry mouth, and gum diseases.

However, seniors can take several steps to prevent dental issues as they age. Discover ways to protect your smile by understanding common dental issues and oral hygiene tips provided by Lorton VA dentists.

Below we have listed five common dental issues among senior citizens that they should know about, all preventable with proper dental hygiene and care.

* Dry Mouth

Dry mouth has become an almost universal symptom of old age due to chronic disease and medication dependency. Adults taking lifelong medication for conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiac and lung diseases, and cancer rely heavily on prescribed treatments that deprive their oral cavity of enough saliva to keep it moist and wet; without enough saliva to protect teeth and gums against dental decay and infections this creates dry mouth conditions in older people.

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* Teeth Discolouration

Seniors engaging in long-term habits such as smoking, chewing tobacco use, or eating stain-causing food may develop discolored teeth over time. Even those without such issues can still have darkened enamel due to age-related erosion exposing yellow dentin beneath.

As we age, tooth roots gradually soften, recede, and expose sensitive oral tissues to harmful oral bacteria. What begins as tooth decay will eventually progress into root infection resulting in excruciating pain that requires root canal treatment for relief.

* Tooth Sensitivity

As people get older, their gums recede, exposing the tooth root and leading to mild to extreme tooth sensitivity. Persistent sensitivity could indicate far more serious issues like dental fractures or deep-rooted cavities that need further investigation.

* Gum Diseases

Plaque build-up is one of the main contributors to gum diseases among seniors, while other contributors include poor dental hygiene, chronic medical conditions, and long-term use of tobacco and cigarettes.

* Poor-fitting dentures.

To ensure senior adults can maintain optimal oral health throughout their lives, here’s a comprehensive list of tips on taking care of oral health and keeping teeth and gums in optimal condition for the rest of their lives.

8 Proven Strategies to Maintain Excellent Oral Health in Seniors

  1. Brush & Floss Daily

Brushing has long been part of my daily routine. However, are you flossing as well? Dentists suggest flossing at least once daily – dental experts advise brushing twice for at least two minutes on both sessions, followed by flossing to clear away food debris between your teeth and to remove plaque from gum surfaces in elderly people without teeth who don’t yet possess teeth.

  1. Utilize A Mouthwash

To complement your brushing and flossing regimen, supplementing it with an effective oral rinse can be highly beneficial in flushing out all bacteria and food particles from your mouth. Alcohol-free mouthwash may prove gentler on delicate oral cavities.

  1. Stay Hydrated

There are no hard and fast rules regarding hydration; only your doctor can recommend restricting how much water you take in. Drinking enough water has numerous advantages for oral hygiene – flushing away bacteria, sugar, and acid from the mouth while neutralizing acids as well as keeping moisture levels at optimum levels, and decreasing chances of tooth decay and infections.

  1. Denture Care

To maintain good denture health, special attention must be taken in caring for them daily. You should brush and clean them with mild soap or cleaning liquid as well as rinse with mild soap or cleaning liquid after each wear session. In addition, visit your dental hospital every year or two to make sure they remain in top shape.

  1. Avoid Smoking and Tobacco

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), smokers are seven times more prone to periodontal diseases than non-smokers, not to mention being highly at risk of oral cancer, heart diseases, throat cancer, and other serious health conditions associated with smoking – not forgetting long term tobacco chewing habits which contribute significantly to teeth decay.

  1. Eat Healthily

As you age, calcium becomes increasingly necessary for strong bones and teeth. Choose dairy-free milk, almonds, and foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids instead of sweet drinks, candies, fizzy beverages, preserved dried fruits, or starchy snacks for the best nutrition.

  1. Monitor Potential Medical Side Effects

If you are taking long-term or lifetime medication, be wary of its most frequent side effect – dry mouth. This condition increases your risk for tooth decay and gum diseases so, while taking any prescribed drugs, be on guard for any changes to your oral health that might arise as a result.

  1. Regular Dental Checkups

Set an annual or biannual dental visit as a goal to detect and address any dental problems early. Otherwise, these issues could become much worse and lead to greater expense and pain down the line.

Conclusion

As we age, oral health becomes ever more essential to our overall wellbeing. Neglecting our dental hygiene can result in cavities and gum diseases as well as more serious conditions like oral cancer; but by following simple steps like brushing and flossing regularly, using mouthwash, staying hydrated and visiting their dentist on a regular basis seniors can remain healthy well into later years.

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