Growing older means many things about our bodies change, even our teeth. Following a strong dental care routine from a young age and throughout the years that follow will help your teeth and mouth to stay strong and will benefit you as you grow older. There are still health problems that can occur with elderly and it is important to maintain a schedule of appointments with your local dentist. The mouth as a whole needs to be looked at regularly to prevent problems; and this includes the jaw, roots of the teeth, the gums, and the crown of the tooth.
People of any age need to look out for these teeth problems, but elderly especially need to be extra attentive to their teeth. If you are looking for a local dentist, contact First Hill Dental Center and we will make you feel as comfortable as possible during your appointment.
After years of eating stain-causing foods and drinks, the tissue which lies beneath the enamel, dentin, can lose its strength. Darkened teeth can also be caused by thinning enamel, which will allow the darker yellow dentin show through. This can be avoided by refraining from smoking, drinking red wine, or eating citrusy foods, or brushing your teeth after consuming these foods.
Dry mouth occurs when there is a lower amount of saliva in your mouth. There are many causes for dry mouth, including cancer treatments and the use of radiation. A large cause of dry mouth is side effects of certain medications. Try to drink a good amount of water each day to rinse out your mouth and help keep the mouth moist.
Gum health is especially important. When gums begin to recede from the tooth, the root of the tooth can be exposed. Receding gums can be caused by consuming acidic foods and drinks. Because the roots do not have enamel to protect them, they are more likely to decay. Flossing and brushing regularly, as well as consistent trips to the dentist for checkups, will help to prevent root decay.
This is generally caused by a buildup of plaque due to poor diet habits, using tobacco products, or by not receiving a cleaning by a dentist. For elderly people, poor-fitting bridges, dentures, and diseases such as anemia, cancer or diabetes can cause gum disease. Gum disease can also lead to tooth loss. Consistent dental care will also help to prevent gum disease.
Dental Care Tips for Seniors
These tips should be followed by anyone, regardless of age. However, for elderly who have spent their lives consuming foods and drinks that break down their teeth, it is especially important. Flossing and brushing regularly and rinsing with a mouthwash once or twice a day will ensure healthy teeth. Purchase an antiseptic or antibacterial mouthwash to reduce bacteria in your mouth that cause plaque and gum disease. A trip to the dentist is also key to healthy teeth.
What to Expect at a Check-up
Your dentist will learn more about your history and ask if there have been any changes since your last visit. Keep note of loose or sensitive teeth, if you have difficulty swallowing, pain, or swelling in your mouth. If you wear dentures, your dentist will ask questions about how they are fitting and will examine your gums for any irritation, and the dentures themselves. Your dentist will also examine your:
- Bite to see if there are any problems with how the teeth come together.
- Jaw for signs of clicking or popping in the joint.
- Lymph nodes for signs of swelling or lumps.
- Cheeks to look for infections, ulcers, or injuries.
- Tongue and interior of the mouth to look for signs of infection or oral cancer.
- Teeth to see if fillings are necessary or for signs of decay.
Taking care of your teeth is essential throughout your life, but being aware of what to look for as you grow older is crucial to a healthy mouth. If you are brushing and flossing consistently, that is an excellent start. Most importantly is to schedule a regular appointment with your dentist to allow them to see any changes in your teeth. If you are looking for a passionate and caring dental office, contact First Hill Dental Center. We will provide you with dental care that is comfortable and leave your teeth and mouth healthy.