As we get older, there are certain health concerns that require our full attention. Oral health for seniors is one of them. In our lifetime, we only get one set of permanent adult teeth, so it’s crucial to take care of them throughout our lives. About 25 percent of adults over the age of 60 and older no longer have any natural teeth. Issues such as gum disease or other general health concerns may contribute to tooth loss. Although aging is unavoidable, if you’re suffering from tooth loss before the age of 70, you may be aging at an accelerated rate. Your Park Slope dentist wants you to know the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and gums as you get older. That’s why he offers these tips to help make your dental care as effective as possible.
Understanding Oral Health Concerns for Seniors
Not only could you possibly face tooth loss as you age, but your general health can decline very quickly. Without proper care for your smile, older patients raise their risk for dangerous diseases. Two main concerns that older patients should consider when taking care of their teeth are Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis.
This disease is one form of dementia that’s caused by a loss of brain function. What does that have to do with your oral health? Many patients may forget how to take care of their teeth properly or why it’s so important to keep their mouth clean. This could lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and ultimately tooth loss.
This common medical issue causes bones to become less dense, increasing chances for fracture. This doesn’t just mean the bones of our arms, legs, or feet. This goes for jawbone density as well. Without sufficient jawbone density, teeth can become loose and fall out.
Tips for Caring for Senior Smiles
Good dental hygiene and oral care habits are important at any age, but even more so as we get older. Whether you have all your original teeth, some of them, or a full set of teeth replacements, it’s still important to care for your mouth.
1. Keep hydrated.
Some medications may cause dehydration more than others. Without saliva (your body’s natural mouthwash) there may be food and other debris that settle within your teeth. This can cause decay. If you suffer from a dry mouth, you can try drinking more water or chewing sugar-free gum to help produce more saliva. Reach out to your dentist in Park Slope if you’re still having issues.
2. Care for your dental prosthetics.
It’s still important to take care of your teeth replacements as if they were your natural teeth by brushing and flossing regularly. If you have dentures, you must clean them daily. Ask Dr. Sapienza the best ways to keep your dental prosthetics clean.
3. Maintain a healthy diet.
Keeping your body well-nourished is a big part of maintaining good oral health. Eating natural fruits and crunchy vegetables keep your jawbone strong and healthy while giving your body the nutrients it needs.
Visit The Dental Spa of New York
A durable, bright smile looks great at any age. Understanding the issues seniors may face when caring for their teeth is a big part of preventing oral problems from happening as patients age. Keeping up good hygiene habits, eating and drinking healthy substances, and visiting Dr. Sapienza for necessary dental care will keep your permanent teeth healthy for years to come. Schedule your next appointment today.