Ageing adults often have a difficult time maintaining good oral health, which can result in a host of complications. Perth elderly care professionals discuss 5 of the top dental hygiene concerns for seniors and offer tips on how your senior loved one can prevent them.
1. Dry Mouth
Saliva secretion naturally decreases with age, certain medications prescribed to the elderly can reduce saliva production even further. Without the natural antimicrobial action of saliva to wash away food particles, acids, and germs, your loved one can become more prone to developing gum disease and cavities. Over-the-counter rinses can help keep the mouth’s tissues moist.
2. Receding Gums
Gum tissue often recedes with age, which can expose the roots of teeth. Because the root is not protected by enamel, cavities can easily form at the base of the tooth and eventually affect the surrounding tissue. This condition is referred to as periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. A dental hygiene regimen of twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and regular dental cleanings can help keep the gums healthy.
3. Tooth Discolouration
Medical conditions, medications, and a lifetime of exposure to foods and beverages that stain can cause your loved one’s teeth to become yellowed or discoloured. In most cases, this is a cosmetic issue and does not necessarily affect the health of the teeth. Over-the-counter and professional whitening procedures can help remove stains and enhance the appearance of your loved one’s teeth.
Certain health conditions can affect the health of the teeth and gums and make your loved one more susceptible to cavities. For example, acid reflux disease can erode the protective enamel of the teeth and make them more prone to decay. A doctor can help your loved one manage underlying health conditions that affect his or her teeth and gums.
Wear and tear, receding gums, and even cavities can lead to teeth becoming hypersensitive to heat and cold. Tooth sensitivity typically occurs when the outer enamel erodes and the inner dentin is exposed. This erosion creates tiny channels that allow hot or cold beverages or even air to reach the dentin, which can cause pain. Over-the-counter toothpastes and rinses are available to help strengthen your loved one’s tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity.
Help your loved one maintain a healthy smile by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to assist with grooming, bathing, and other hygiene-related tasks. For more information on the respite and live-in care Perth seniors trust, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at [hca_phone] today.