Oral health is key as we start to age

PREVENTING ISSUES: Seniors need to be working with their GPs and dentists to ensure their oral health is maintained in later years.

PREVENTING ISSUES: Seniors need to be working with their GPs and dentists to ensure their oral health is maintained in later years.

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Oral health in our senior years may seem not so important where in fact the opposite is true. There are many factors that our mouth health can affect or be influenced by as we age.

Health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, strokes and nutrition can all be negatively influenced by declining oral health and infections. 

These should be monitored closely by your GP and dentist. Ailments, cognitive impairments, functional difficulties and medication can also have a negative impact. 

Some medications can cause your saliva, a natural defence mechanism, to decrease and cause dry mouth syndrome.   

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There are medicated toothpastes and gels that are available to combat this and replicate saliva. 

Limited manual dexterity and functional disabilities (difficulty in swallowing) can mean that we are not able to clean our teeth to a high standard and bacteria can multiple and cause an increase in decay rates and a worsening of gum disease. 

An electric toothbrush, floss aides and interdental brushes can be useful tools to increase the effectiveness of your cleaning routine.

The best cure is as always prevention, regular examinations and cleanings every six months to minimize the effect that gum disease, tooth decay and infections have on your overall health. 

Oral examinations are also important to carry out regular soft tissue checks around your mouth, on your gums and under dentures to detect oral cancers.

Financial constraints can also mean dental care can become less of a priority and that is where Toothkind’s professional $77 half price ultra clean can help to make cleaning more affordable.  

Tips for managing oral health as we age:

  • Brush teeth, gums and tongue twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Replace toothbrushes regularly
  • Use floss aides and/or interdental brushes
  • Clean dentures twice a day
  • Store dentures overnight in water to rest your gums
  • Drink water, eat healthy
  • Manage dry mouth
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