We’ve discussed in previous blogs the importance of maintaining healthy smiles for children and adults. But what about the oral health of senior patients? As we grow older, we often develop a high risk of tooth decay or gum disease forming. In addition, seniors may develop medical issues that complicate receiving even routine oral health treatment. Do you have questions about senior oral health?
Common Questions About Oral Health for Seniors
Question: Can certain medications cause dry mouth?
Answer: Did you know that as a senior, you may be more susceptible to tooth decay? This is due to dry mouth, which allows harmful bacteria to flourish and feed on food particles that saliva would normally help remove. Over 500 common medications can lead to the onset of dry mouth. If you notice your mouth feels dry then talk to your dentist right away.
Question: Do seniors have a higher risk of gum disease?
Answer: Many seniors develop gum disease as a result of poor oral hygiene or chronic illness that causes gum inflammation. Fortunately, we can watch for potential warning signs and offer preventive options for reducing your risk of developing periodontal disease.
Question: Does it matter if you have a heart condition?
Answer: Yes. Some heart conditions can increase the risk of infection if you receive treatment, even something as minor as a dental cleaning. However, by letting your dentist know beforehand, we can provide an antibiotic prior to treatment.
Question: Should you still brush and floss daily?
Answer: yes. No matter what age you are you should always take proper care of your teeth and gums. This mans brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day and flowing at least once a day, preferably before going to sleep. Doing so helps protect your smile from cavities, periodontal disease, and other oral health concerns.