FAQs on Preventive Dental Care Measures for the Elderly
One thing that the elderly need to understand is the fact that they do not have to lose their teeth with the passage of age. With the right homecare and help from a reliable dental team, they can keep their teeth throughout their lifetime. Tooth decay and gum disease can be prevented regardless of your age. However, many questions arise as to how preventive measures can be undertaken to keep teeth young and healthy even at an old age.
What dental problems do older people have?
The gums may recede as people get older, making the teeth a little sensitive. The dental team can show the elderly the best methods of brushing so as to keep gum problems at bay. They may propose a mouthwash to help deal with this sensitivity.
Elderly people find it somewhat challenging to clean their teeth properly, particularly if they have problems with their arms or hands or if their eyesight is poor. A good dentist will be in a position to offer advice and help on the most appropriate aids to use. Good lighting and a magnifying mirror are often helpful. For those who have lost some of their teeth and have dentures or bridges, may have particular problems and cleaning needs, the dentist will be in a position to help. Perhaps you take medication which makes your mouth dry. Saliva is known to help teeth against decay. Therefore, those who have less saliva should ask advice from their dentist.
Should you expect problems with your gums?
The build-up of bacteria (plaque) causes gum disease. Plaque forms regularly on the teeth. Therefore, it is important to get rid of this plaque so as to prevent gum inflammation. If the plaque remains on the teeth, gum disease will affect the bones under the gum, in due course. The bones support the roots of the tooth so that the teeth gradually become loose.
How can you tell whether you have gum disease?
Gum disease is often painless and for the majority of the people, it may not be visible to them. Some common signs and symptoms are: bad breath, receding gums, loose teeth, gums that bleed during brushing. You may not have all these signs and symptoms but you may have one to indicate you have gum disease.
Can you still get tooth decay?
You can still get tooth decay. The dental plaque that is responsible for gum inflammation can also cause decay, especially if you take sugary drinks and foods often. There are particular risks of decay at the edges of the gum when the gums have receded, as the tooth ‘neck’ is not protected by the enamel.
How can you prevent tooth decay and gum disease?
• Remove thoroughly plaque from the teeth at least two times a day (in the morning and evening).
• Use fluoride toothpaste – if you take the time to shop you will discover many special types of toothpaste available in the market.
• Cut down on the quantity of drinks and food containing sugar- especially sweets that stay longer in the mouth like mints or boiled sweets.
• Clean in between teeth at least one time a day using dental floss.
• Visit your dentist regularly.
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