Senior oral health is different from younger people’s dental hygiene needs. Growing older may make you more susceptible to dental issues, like gum disease, high rates of cavities, broken teeth and tooth loss. Following the proper senior dental care plan can help prevent problems from occurring or worsening.
If you’re an older adult in need of professional senior oral hygiene care in New Jersey, you’ve come to the right place. Family Dentistry of New Jersey (FDNJ) provides oral care for patients of all ages, offering compassionate solutions regardless of the situation. Make FDNJ your trusted dental office for senior dental care today.
The Impact of Aging on Dental Health
Our bodies continue to change as we age. Bones often become weaker and less dense, cells regenerate slower, tissues are thinner and the immune system weakens, making older adults more susceptible to infections. These changes affect every part of the body, including the mouth. That’s why maintaining oral health is crucial for older adults.
People ages 65 and up are more prone to dental concerns because of the changes that naturally occur with age. Additionally, older adults often have to take multiple medications to help with their health conditions, and the medications can cause adverse effects like xerostomia, also known as dry mouth.
Common Dental Problems Seniors Face
Aging and the conditions that result from it can affect oral health and may even contribute to dental problems in seniors. Common dental problems seen in senior teeth include:
- Tooth decay and cavities: Older adults may develop more tooth decay or cavities for a variety of reasons. Dry mouth caused by medications is a massive contributing factor to a high rate of cavities as teeth are unprotected without adequate saliva.
- Gum disease: Periodontal, or gum, disease is common in older adults because the gums become more susceptible to the effects of infection in the gum leading to bone loss and tooth loss if not treated. Gum disease could also indicate other health issues, like diabetes, heart disease or lung disease.
- Tooth loss: As you age, the pulp of the teeth gradually becomes smaller with fewer blood vessels and less nerve tissue supplying the teeth. This results in teeth having less fluid content and being brittle. Brittle teeth may be easily broken or chipped.
Effective Dental Fixes for Aging Adults
Maintaining and protecting your oral health as an older adult is crucial to continue enjoying delicious food and drinks, having a bright smile and feeling confident. If you’re an older adult or have someone in your life who is over 65 years old, practicing preventive actions for dental hygiene helps keep the mouth healthy. Some effective senior dental fixes you or a loved one can follow include:
Regular Dental Checkups and Cleanings
Visiting the dentist at least every six months helps you stay on top of your oral health. Seniors who are more vulnerable to developing gum disease or other dental issues may have to visit more often to ensure their teeth and gums receive the necessary care. Senior dental checkups help patients and their dentists stay vigilant in treating dental concerns and catching symptoms early on.
Proper Oral Hygiene Practices
Besides visiting the dentist for regular checkups, older adults must follow and complete proper oral hygiene, like brushing twice daily and flossing. Using dental hygiene products to prevent dental issues, like plaque buildup, can also help keep seniors’ teeth and gums healthy.
Denture and Dental Implant Care
If you or another older adult in your life have dentures or dental implants, following the proper care plan for these solutions is crucial. This task helps ensure they continue functioning correctly and last for a long time. Maintain your dentures by rinsing and cleaning them with a gentle brush and denture cleanser at least once daily to eliminate any food, plaque or denture adhesive stuck on them. When you aren’t using your dentures, soak them in a gentle denture solution to keep them moist and clean.
If you have dental implants, you can maintain them like you take care of your teeth every day — by brushing and flossing twice daily. Make sure you use a soft brush and nonabrasive products with the implants.
Come to FDNJ for Compassionate Dental Care at any age or activity level!
Aging adults deserve skilled dentists and dental staff who care about helping them feel confident in their smiles and oral health. At FDNJ, we focus on the patient, ensuring they feel safe and comfortable the entire time. Our dentists and dental staff are caring and make sure they provide services that help seniors with their dental concerns or issues.
Learn more about our dental services for seniors when you contact us to schedule a consultation today!