Oral Health for Seniors: Common Issues & Prevention

November 15, 2023 5:33 pm
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senior man discusses his oral health with a female dental technician

As we age, maintaining good oral health becomes increasingly important, especially for seniors. Seniors are more susceptible to specific oral health challenges, including gum disease and tooth loss. In this blog, we’re exploring five common oral health issues faced by seniors and preventive measures to ensure optimal oral health.

1. Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

Many seniors experience dry mouth, a condition resulting from reduced saliva production. Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health by neutralizing acids, washing away bacteria, and aiding in digestion. To combat dry mouth, staying hydrated and avoiding tobacco and alcohol can be beneficial.

2. Tooth Decay

Seniors, particularly those with exposed tooth roots due to gum recession, are more prone to tooth decay. Regular dental check-ups, proper oral hygiene practices, and fluoride treatments can help prevent cavities and maintain the integrity of teeth.

3. Gum Disease (Gingivitis & Periodontitis)

Gum disease is a prevalent concern for seniors, often exacerbated by factors such as diabetes or certain medications. To prevent gum disease, meticulous oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, is essential. Routine dental cleanings and following a tooth-friendly diet are also beneficial.

4. Tooth Loss

Whether from decay or injury, tooth loss can impact oral function and overall well-being. Practicing good oral hygiene, attending dental check-ups, and addressing dental issues can help preserve natural teeth. In cases of tooth loss, exploring options like dental implants or dentures can restore functionality and aesthetics.

5. Denture Care

For seniors with dentures, proper denture care is essential. Cleaning dentures regularly, removing them at night to allow the gums to rest, and attending dental check-ups for adjustments contribute to better oral health and overall comfort.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Wilmington, North Carolina

Prioritizing oral health is vital for seniors to enjoy a comfortable and healthy lifestyle. At Gregory B. Garrett, DDS, we work with patients of all ages! Our dental services in Wilmington, North Carolina, include custom dentures, routine cleanings, and more. Whether you’re looking to maintain or improve your smile, give us a call today!

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