As you grow older, oral healthcare becomes crucial. You only get one set of permanent teeth, so it’s important to take care of them your entire life. Issues such as gum disease can cause the loss of your permanent teeth as you age. Conditions like heart disease and diabetes are actually increased by poor oral health as well.
Symptoms of Poor Oral Health
There are a number of conditions that are worsened when you forget to brush, floss and use mouthwash, including:
- Gum Disease: Gum disease can be a very serious condition. It occurs when the gum tissues around your teeth become infected due to a buildup of plaque. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and the symptoms include swollen or bleeding gums. It is reversible, though, with proper treatment.
- Tooth Decay: Both tooth and root decay can occur in older adults, so it is essential to clean the gums and the teeth in order to remove plaque and food. A good cleaning at your dentist will also help clean at and below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar.
- Sensitive Teeth: Poor oral health can cause sensitive teeth which hurt when you drink cold water or eat ice cream. This sensitivity can be caused by brushing too hard or having worn tooth enamel. Using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, and brushing properly, can minimize the sensitivity.
- Dry Mouth: Dry mouth occurs when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. This is often caused by prescription medications. Dry mouth can cause tooth and root decay but a fluoride mouthwash can help alleviate the problem.
Taking Care of Your Teeth
Some seniors suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, which affects memory, thinking and behavior. Caregivers must be diligent in helping these patients take care of their teeth. And, in general, aging sometimes causes memory loss, so it’s important to make sure seniors are remembering their oral healthcare.
Regular visits to the dentist are vital when it comes to dental care for seniors. Your dentist can diagnose and treat any problems that arise. Your dentist can also look at your risk for future problems, like cavities, and help develop a plan to fight them.
For many seniors, dental care should include a fluoride mouthwash. A fluoride mouthwash can help in a number of ways: since fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens the hard outer surfaces of teeth, it can help protect your mouth against cavities. It can even help reverse early tooth decay.
Because you circulate the liquid around your entire mouth, you don’t need a brush to get to every tooth surface. Mouthwash is similar to your saliva in that it keeps the oral tissue moist and helps spread fluoride to the entire mouth.
Momentum Insurance Plans
At Momentum Insurance Plans, we want Wisconsin residents of every age to have access to affordable dental care. We offer dental insurance plans and discount dental plans for groups and individuals. Please contact us for more information.