Prevent this Aging Disease With Basic Dental Care for Senior Citizens

The benefit of keeping your own teeth in your head for as long as possible when you get older is obvious. The discomfort and inconvenience of wearing dentures is to be avoided for as long as possible.

But this all depends on your degree of overall good health and the degree of dental care you have provided yourself in your lifetime.

As you age, dental care becomes more and more valuable to your overall health. Many senior citizens experience dental problems, but it’s good to know that these problems can be reduced and improved by a few simple techniques.

Basically, this aging disease triggers some changes that take place in your mouth as you age — gums soften and the muscles in your mouth become weak. Saliva production is reduced as is the ability to chew your food.

Tooth decay may increase as you age – one of the results of reduced saliva in the mouth. It’s more difficult to use fillings to restore teeth because the decay often occurs near the gum line.

Teeth often become brittle with aging because the pulp of the tooth becomes smaller, resulting in less fluid to the teeth. Teeth become brittle and can be easily chipped.

Periodontal disease often happens during the aging process. This causes swollen gums that bleed even when brushing your teeth.

Loss of teeth can occur when food is trapped between the teeth and gums in tiny pockets. If you suspect periodontal disease, you should seek treatment immediately to avoid tooth loss.

You can improve your dental hygiene by practicing a few basic techniques, including:

· Brushing and flossing

– It’s best to use a medium soft brush and paste. If you can’t appropriately grip a toothbrush because of arthritis or other joint problems, you can purchase a rubber strap that helps you secure a better grip.

Be sure to brush your teeth, tongue and gums thoroughly after every meal. Flossing every day gets rid of debris that toothbrushes can’t reach and is essential to good dental hygiene.

· Rinse

– As the flow of saliva is reduced, it’s more likely that food particles will damage your teeth and gums. Rinsing gets rid of the particles. Since some mouth washes are irritating to the gums, dilute it if necessary.

· Gauze wipes

– If it’s difficult for you to brush or rinse, try wiping your teeth with gauze – this will help remove some of the debris found around the teeth and gums.

· Electric tooth brushes and irrigators

– Electric tooth brushes are a boon to senior citizens. They’re easier to handle and very effective in cleaning teeth.

Irrigators or ‘water picks’ can painlessly remove debris from teeth that toothbrushes miss, but can damage gums if it pushes food particles into gum pockets.

If you have any arthritis in your hands and find manipulating a toothbrush or toothpick difficult, you will be delighted with how simple and pain-free it is to use a water pick. This also applies if you have sensitive teeth or bleeding gums from hard toothbrushes.

If you use warm water and add a mouth-rinse to the water you will find the cleaning even more pleasant and long-lasting freshness for your gums.

· Glycerine

– A flavored lubricant that can stop irritation of the gums. It can also help stimulate saliva production.

Making a plan for better oral dental hygiene and sticking to it, can reduce your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. 

If you have dentures, talk with your dentist about the difference in promoting good oral hygiene. Dentures are like your real teeth in that they can also still cause problems with gums and bone reduction if they aren’t properly taken care of.

Do your research on good dental hygiene and develop daily techniques that will ensure your dental health as you age

Your dentist can also help you develop a plan to prevent this common kind of aging disease.

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