As seniors age, it becomes increasingly important to take good care of their teeth and gums, which sometimes takes a little extra effort in the oral hygiene department. Anchorage, AK, in-home care experts discuss 5 of the top oral hygiene concerns for people over 65 and offer tips on how to alleviate each condition.
1. Tooth Discoloration
Even with excellent dental care, enamel can still easily become damaged over the years, which is why many older adults develop mild exterior discoloration. These stains can make a senior’s teeth appear to be a light shade of brown, gray, or yellow. The easiest way your aging loved one can prevent discoloration is by limiting his or her consumption of darker foods like coffee and berries.
2. Gum Disease
Many seniors have gum disease without even realizing it. This condition is so common that almost every person will develop it at some point in his or her life. Some of the symptoms of gum disease include bleeding, inflammation, and discomfort. Mild gum disease can generally be treated through brushing and flossing multiple times a day.
3. Tooth Loss
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, over 25 percent of seniors no longer have any natural teeth. When a permanent tooth is lost, it increases the risk of cavities, halitosis, and bone loss. In addition to removable devices such as dentures and bridges, dental implants can be used to restore your loved one’s smile.
Seniors have a high risk of developing chronic bad breath. Though halitosis is not dangerous on its own, it is often a side effect of a serious oral health condition like periodontal disease. If brushing and flossing are no longer helping, your loved one should speak with his or her dentist about professional treatment options.
5. Dry Mouth
Also known xerostomia, dry mouth is another extremely common issue among the senior population. Not only do certain medical conditions cause xerostomia, but hundreds of forms of medication can lead to dry mouth as well. Your loved one can treat this oral health syndrome by staying hydrated throughout the day, and he or she might also be able to switch to different medications to alleviate his or her xerostomia.
Grooming often becomes more difficult with age. If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy oral hygiene habits, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of respite and live-in care, we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care Anchorage, AK, seniors can rely on. For more information on our elderly care services, please call (907) 770-0907 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.