Having poor oral health care for seniors can affect a number of important factors, including the person’s appetite, weight, and immune system. It can also affect how seniors view themselves. Poor oral health is a growing concern among seniors. A lack of oral care can not only lead to additional health concerns, but can also affect a person’s emotional well-being.
There are a number of factors to look out for if you are a senior. If you have been experiencing any of the factors below, consult your dentist to find a solution that will work for you.
Dry Mouth or Xerostomia—Seniorsmay be required to take medication that can cause dryness in their mouth. Without saliva’s natural defense system, a dry mouth can make seniors more prone to cavities and tooth decay. If you are experiencing dryness in your mouth, read over your medication’s side effects and consult your doctor. Read here for more tips on what you can do if you have a dry mouth.
Bad Breath—Seniors are more likely to experience bad breath. As they find themselves experiencing new social situations, it can make them more socially isolated. We at 123Dentist.com have some tips to help with bad breath, click here to learn more.
Tooth Loss— According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 27.27% of seniors over age 65 have no remaining teeth. Out of those that do have teeth, seniors over the age of 65 have an average of 18.90 remaining teeth. Considering that adults have an average of 32 teeth, seniorsdo have a high chance of experiencing tooth loss. In order to avoid tooth loss, make sure you maintain proper oral care and hygiene.
Cavities—Seniors are more at risk of developing cavities than children. To avoid cavities, don’t consume foods that are high in sugar on a regular basis and make sure you take good care of your oral health. Read here to learn more about what you can do to avoid getting cavities.
PoorDenture Care—Dentures are a common way of treating tooth loss and require just as much care as natural teeth do. Seniors are often at risk of having poor denture care, which can lead to a multitude of oral health problems as the dentures may shift or not fit properly in your mouth. Plaque can also easily build up underneath the denture and irritate your gums and tissue. To learn more about how to properly maintain your dentures, click here.
Gum Disease—Many seniors suffer from gum disease but don’t think they can do anything to treat it. Gum disease is linked to several health concerns among seniors, including heart disease. This makes it especially important that you take care of your teeth and gums, especially if you think you may have gum disease. To learn more about how you can tell if you have gum disease, click here.
Tooth Discoloration—As you age, the enamel on your teeth gets worn away, which makes seniors at risk of experiencing tooth discoloration. In order to avoid tooth discoloration, make sure you avoid certain foods that can stain your teeth. Click here to learn more what foods you need to stay away from.
To learn more about how you can properly maintain your teeth and gums, visit a 123Dentist.com location today! A dentist will be happy to assess your needs and give you tips on how you can better maintain your oral health.
A root canal isa common treatment option for damaged or dead nerves near the pulp of your tooth. Tooth decay, trauma, or gum disease can affect the nerve of your tooth, which can then lead to additional oral health concerns. A root canal procedure lets you keep your tooth so you don’t have to remove it or replace it with an artificial tooth.
How is a root canal procedure done?
A root canal is the process of removing infected or dead pulp from your tooth in order to keep it healthy. The procedure is performed by experienced professionals in the 123Dentist.com Community Network—so you know you are in good hands.
There are 5 major steps that a 123Dentist.com dentist will take to perform a root canal:
The dentist will give you an anesthetic (freezing) to make sure you are comfortable during your root canal.
The dentist will place a rubber dam around your tooth to protect the tooth from the bacteria in your saliva.
The dentist will clean the pulp of your tooth and remove any damaged or dead pulp.
After your tooth is cleaned, the dentist will fill and seal the canal to protect it from bacteria and infection.
To complete the root canal, the dentist will seal your tooth with a filling.
A root canal can be completed in 1-2 dental appointments and can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
After your root canal treatment is completed, you tooth may feel tender. You may also experience pain and/or swelling, which is a normal part of your tooth’s healing process. If you experience pain and/or swelling, call your dentist for tips on how you can pacify the pain.
How do you know if you need a root canal?
Here are some questions that can help you determine if you need a root canal:
Is your tooth sensitive to hot and cold?
Does your tooth hurt if you apply pressure to it?
Are the gums around your tooth tender and swollen?
The best way to tell if you need a root canal is to book an appointment with your dentist. A dentist can take x-rays for you to determine if a filling, extraction or root canal is the best treatment option for your tooth.
Using dental floss properly is essential to your oral health because it eliminates plaque and gets rid of food bits in places where a toothbrush can’t reach. These areas are in between the teeth and underneath the gum-line. Here are some great oral health tips on clean teeth and dental floss from the 123Dentist.com Community Dentist Network.
“Why is dental plaque so bad for me?”
When dental plaque builds up, it can cause tooth decay and gum disease, which is why the 123Dentist.com Community Dentist Network recommends that you use dental floss regularly, every day.
“How do I floss properly?”
Here are some strategies on using dental floss most effectively:
- Give yourself about 18 inches of floss and wrap it around both of your middle fingers. Leave an inch or so of dental floss that you can maneuver.
- Hold the dental floss in a flexible way and keep it between your thumbs and index fingers. Be gentle when sliding it up and down between your teeth.
- Take the dental floss and put it around the base of each tooth so you get into the gumline. Do not be forceful with the floss because it can harm gum tissue.
- When you move between teeth, be sure to use the clean section of the floss.
-Removing the floss from your mouth is easy: use a similar back-and-forth motion so you can move the floss up and away from your teeth.
If you’re wondering when the right time is to start brushing your baby’s teeth, we have some tips for you. Regular dental cleanings should be done after your baby has their teeth. After you have breastfed or bottle-fed your baby, take a damp washcloth and softly rub your baby’s gums. To make cleaning easier, you can wrap the cloth around one of your fingers to remove all those food scraps from your baby’s mouth.
As soon as your baby’s first tooth comes, a baby toothbrush will be needed. You can easily find special children’s oral health care toothbrushes at your local drugstore. These brushes are gentle and have only a few bristles. You don’t have to worry about buying toothpaste, you’ll only need water to clean your child’s teeth.
Children’s oral health care experts have determined that when more teeth start to come in, that’s when toothpaste becomes necessary. You will only need a very small amount and be sure that there is no fluoride in the toothpaste for the first few years. A great exercise is to have your child pretend to spit out toothpaste after brushing – then they will have already formed good habits when it comes time to use fluoride toothpaste which is hazardous when swallowed.
Here’s a great informational video about baby teeth:
The 123dentist.com Community Dentist Network makes it as simple as 1,2,3 to find a dentist who’s a patient-focused, caring and professional oral health care expert in your community. Our Dentists offer professional treatments that include Oral Cancer Screening, Lumineers and One Appointment Crowns, so visit us today to find out your perfect fit.
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If you need specialised dental treatment, 123dentist.com makes it easy to find a dentist that’s certified to treat you efficiently and comfortably and give you your smile – and your self-confidence – back. All of our carefully selected 123dentist.com Community Dentist Network members are dedicated to giving you quality dental care and a hundred reasons to smile.
At the 123Dentist.com Community Dentist Network, we make it easy for you to find the dental services you want, in your neighbourhood.
If you want a personalized dental experience coupled with excellent service and state of the art facilities, visit 123Dentist.com to find a dental professional in your community.
Our 123Dentist.com Community Dentist Network members offer you whitening, veneers, orthodontics, sleep dentistry, root canal therapy and many more services in the Lower Mainland. We also offer you AIR MILES reward miles. Earn AIR MILES reward miles every time you visit the dentist and show off that beautiful smile on a cruise or just around town.
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