Oral Care for Seniors
Oral diseases of teeth and gums, are common among our oldest Americans who grew up without the benefit of community water fluoridation and other fluoride products. Often why a dentist asks “are you pre-medicated” before doing many procedures. Periodontal (gum) disease or tooth decay (cavities) are the most frequent causes of tooth loss. Most older Americans take both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Over 400 commonly used medications can cause a reduction of saliva, a dry mouth and increases the risk for oral disease including cancer.
What You Can Do to Maintain Your Oral Health
- Use fluoride toothpaste, and mouthwash; fluoride provides protection against dental decay.
- Practice good oral hygiene. Careful teeth brushing and flossing reduce dental plaque can help prevent periodontal disease.
- See your dentist on a regular basis, at least one time a year.
- Avoid tobacco. Smokers have seven times the risk of developing periodontal disease compared to non-smokers.
- Limit alcohol. Drinking alcoholic beverages are a significant risk factor for oral and throat cancers. Alcohol and tobacco used together are the primary risk factors for oral cancers.
- A decrease in taste may not be signs of aging, but could be a sign of something else, see your dentist.
Be a Positive Advocate for your Health…. every day!