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Seniors and Oral Health: Keep Smiling!

We all dream of keeping our natural teeth throughout our lives. With the inevitable process of aging, new health problems can affect oral health. In order to keep smiling for as long as possible, it is important to be vigilant about the problems that can arise, to keep a strong focus on prevention and, if necessary, to consider specialized treatments. The Centre Dentaire & d’Implantologie Boucherville can help.

Problems in Seniors, Their Signs and Causes

With age, the increase in health problems often translates into an aggravation of dental problems previously encountered. To toothaches, cavities and receding gums are added gum disease (periodontal), tooth loss, infections in the mouth and more. We must therefore intensify our efforts to prevent them. Here are the warning signs:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Changes in taste
  • Lesions in the mouth

It is also important to be mindful of the factors that can cause these problems. There are those that younger people face, but these increase with age and new ones are added. Here are some of them:

  • Plaque
  • Xerostomia (dry mouth)
  • Loose-fitting bridges and dentures
  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Blood pressure and heart problems
  • Lung problems
  • Nerves shrink and become less sensitive with age; it may be too late to save a tooth by the time the discomfort begins

Poor nutrition is always a serious issue. The uncontrolled consumption of fatty, salty and sweet foods leads to many disorders; junk food and processed foods, to name just a few. The loss of taste sensitivity in the elderly can lead them to compensate for this new reality by consuming more sugar and salt, which is of course harmful.

Finally, while there are adverse effects from medication intakes, seniors should also remember that over-the-counter products such as vitamins, minerals and natural products are not without certain risks either.

Neglected Care: Consequences and Drawbacks

More serious problems such as tooth loss can lead to difficulty chewing and swallowing certain foods, making it problematic or impossible to consume nutrients that are essential for good health. These problems can also make it hard to socialize due to bad breath, for example, poor appearance of the teeth and difficulty swallowing certain foods. All this can lead to isolation and depression.

senior at the dentist holding mirror smiling at his reflection with healthy teeth

Prevention: Always the Best Remedy

A healthy mouth is a great advantage because it ensures that we can always eat well.

Consult a doctor to find out what health issues you have that may affect your oral well-being. Seeing your dentist every six months is still a good idea. Keep track of any changes in your medication. Ask your dentist and dental hygienist for tips to make your dental care easier and better. Here are some reminders:

  • Avoid or reduce the number of sugary foods and drinks.
  • Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once a day, preferably before bedtime.
  • Use a mouthwash once or twice a day.
  • Drink water (with fluoride if possible).
  • Clean your dentures twice a day (cleaning products should not replace brushing).
  • Also clean your dental implants.
  • Cancer: be aware of changes that may occur in your mouth and talk to your dentist (red or white patches, sores, changes in tissue color, lips, tongue, gums, palate, inside of cheeks).

In all circumstances, prevention remains the best strategy for long-lasting oral health.

Consulting your dentist regularly and taking regular care of your mouth can save you money by avoiding specialized and expensive treatments. Your oral health is closely linked to your overall health, so consult your doctor. Canada’s Food Guide and a nutritionist can provide valuable information.

Looking for a new dentist? Do you have questions about your dental health? Entrust the care of your teeth to the team at the Centre Dentaire & d’Implantologie Boucherville or contact us with any questions. The Centre Dentaire & d’Implantologie Boucherville is a state-of-the-art facility that offers a full range of services in addition to routine dental care. Find out more today!

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