The natural process of aging places seniors at high risk of developing numerous dental health problems. As the integrity of the oral quality decline through the years, it becomes all the more crucial for seniors to put oral care as of their main heath priorities.
Primary caregivers on the other hand should also assist their elderly so they can achieve optimum dental health. Ignoring dental care problems as well as skipping proper oral care puts seniors are risk for developing conditions which are not only painful, but expensive too.
With proper dental health, seniors can avoid the following conditions that are most commonly associated with advancing age:
• Darker teeth caused by years of intake of stained food items. It is also characterized by enamel thinning which soon reveals the darker yellow dentin layer of the teeth.
• Dry mouth may be caused by numerous conditions. Seniors who undergo radiation treatments for cancer management usually experience dry mouth as one of its side effects. There are also other age-related conditions such as Sjögren’s syndrome that diminishes saliva production. Lastly, medications that seniors take as part of their health regimen may also cause reduction in the production of saliva.
• Impaired sense of taste is yet another condition that goes along the natural aging process. Other causes for diminishes sense of taste are medications and the presence of dentures.
• The progressive decay of a tooth’s root is caused by its exposure to strong acids from the food and drinks that we take in. The gum tissue also recedes as the roots of the teeth become more exposed to acids.
• Seniors are also plagued with gum disease as a result of many factors such as ill-fitting dentures and bridges, unhealthy diet, cancer, diabetes, and tobacco smoking. Untreated gum disease may also lead to tooth loss.
• Oral thrush is yet another oral health problem common among older adults. As their immune system gets weaker, the oral cavity soon develops over production of the Candida albicans.
These problems can appear simultaneously, which makes it all the more difficult for seniors to manage. As primary caregivers, the mission of children is to help their parents implement daily oral care activities. It is also important for seniors to setup regular dental appointments to ensure optimal dental health. Here are some other oral care tips that ought to be implemented as part of a senior’s oral care regimen:
– Make sure your elderly brush and floss their teeth at least twice daily. Ideally, those who suffer from preexisting dental conditions should brush and disinfect the oral cavity after every meal.
– It is imperative that seniors get regular dental visits for teeth cleaning and general dental examination.
– If you are assisting your parents during their checkup, make sure to provide the dentist any changes that you have observed with their oral cavity. In addition, report changes in eating habits as well as any pain and discomfort in and around the oral region.
– Make sure the dentures are thoroughly check and adjusted to a perfect fit. Bear in mind that loose-fitting dentures may also become a choking hazard if they are fitted loosely on the crown.