As we age, our bodies go through many changes. Some of these changes are visible and quite noticeable. Many are more subtle and affect how we feel more than how we look. While many of these changes are normal and expected, some of them will need to be monitored and dealt with. An often overlooked area of concern for most aging seniors is dental health. Age-related dental issues can adversely affect both our looks and health.
Cavities may seem like a kid's problem. The truth of the matter is that once we reach a certain age, we're once again susceptible to cavities and decay. Our body chemistry is changing and our resistance to damage is lowered.
Some seniors simply forget to brush their teeth. Additionally, there are many fine and gross motor movements involved in tooth brushing and flossing. Seniors with mobility issues may not be able to reach all of the surfaces of their teeth, or they may simply put it off due to frustration.
Caregivers can create picture cues as part of a senior's normal routine or provide verbal reminders to ensure this important personal hygiene task is not forgotten.
Dry mouth is another condition that may affect seniors. It is often caused by the medications commonly prescribed for numerous conditions. Talk to your dentist or doctor about diagnosing the exact cause of your dry mouth. If it is your medication, they may prescribe an alternative without this side effect. In the meantime, try to keep your mouth moist and lubricated as much as possible.
Receding Gum Lines
Receding gum lines often occur with age. As the gums shrink, the roots of the teeth become exposed to air and trauma. This makes them even more sensitive and susceptible to decay. Careful and conscientious cleaning can help lessen the chances of this happening.
Regular dental checkups are the best offense in dealing with any types of mouth cancers. Your dentist can keep an eye on any irregularities and suggest treatments. Signs of oral cancer may include changes in the lips, tongue or mouth. Open sores or patches of white or red inside the mouth may also indicate a problem.
Loose teeth may result from many issues such as an injury or trauma, receding gums and decay. Once teeth have become loose it can be hard for the senior to chew and the teeth may cause pain. Brushing and caring for the teeth may also become an issue. Have a dentist look at any teeth that look or feel loose.
One of the best things family members or caregivers can do is to ensure that seniors attend their dental appointments to get regular cleanings and exams. Many of the most common dental problems that occur with aging are preventable with the right type of care.
At Caring Senior Service, our expert staff is comprised of extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and trusted professionals who take pride in helping your loved one manage their daily activities. Contact a Caring team near you today to learn more!