Taking care of health is important for elderly people. Dental hygiene is equally important for them. Getting old does not mean that you should not care for your teeth and gums. Regular dental care helps in keeping your teeth healthy and strong and even for life. In this article, we will discuss the common dental problems in older people and the tips of oral hygiene for them.
Common dental problems in elderly people
Following are some common dental problems in elderly people:
- Tooth decay: Elderly people are more prone to tooth decay because of negligence in oral hygiene. Brushing twice or thrice a day can prevent developing tooth decay.
- Broken Teeth: Teeth that are decayed, worn out or has old filling will break over a time which leaves sharp ends. This can make your tongue sore and ulcers may also occur. So, it is often advised to visit the dentist regularly. If any such problem can be treated by them.
- Gingivitis: This is common in many people. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease which not treated early can result to more serious disease which can lead to loosening of tooth, bone loss and even tooth loss.
- Dry mouth: Dry mouth is due to less production of saliva because of the physical changes in the body as it ages. But the main cause is certain medications. As saliva helps in killing the bacteria in the mouth that is responsible for tooth cavities, absence of saliva can increase the risk of the same.
- Darkened teeth: This is due to changes in the dentin (layer underneath enamel of the tooth) layer of the tooth/teeth, mainly caused by consuming food that causes stains.
Oral hygiene tips for elderly people
Following are some tips of oral hygiene for elderly people:
- Brushing and flossing regularly: Old age does not mean to you need not take care of your oral health, in fact keeping your teeth clean is important in every stage of life to prevent serious dental problems. Brushing and flossing regularly is a good practice of oral hygiene. Brushing helps in cleaning plaque- a sticky film that forms on the surface of the teeth. Flossing removes tiny food particles from between teeth. These tiny particles cannot be removed by brushing.
- Visiting the dentist regularly: It is essential for everyone to visit dentist regularly, especially when you are getting old. This is because, older people are more prone to dental problems. Visiting dentist regularly can help detect any problem in early stage and can be treated with simple procedures. Leaving the problem untreated can result in to more serious ones.
- Avoiding tobacco: Use of tobacco in any form can increase the risk of oral problems and even oral cancer. It has major effect on teeth and gums.
- Increasing fluoride: Switch to toothpaste that has the right amount of fluoride which can reduce the chances of tooth decay.
It is important to undergo check-up by dental professionals. Doing so, you will get more tips on oral hygiene. This will help you maintain good oral health.