Dentistry For Seniors


a smiling patient from State Street Dental
Taking care of your mouth is important, no matter what your age. However, your oral health needs change as you age. What does not change is that proper oral hygiene is essential for preventing serious oral health issues. State Street Dental is here to help.

How Aging Can Impact Oral Health?

Age alone does not always have a negative impact on your oral health. However, there are certain issues that arise as you get older that can then impact your oral health. For instance, arthritis is a common issue faced by many seniors. Arthritis can impact your manual dexterity, which can then affect how well you are able to brush and floss your teeth. There are also certain medical conditions that are more prevalent in seniors, which then require medications. Certain types of medication can cause dry mouth, or xerostomia, which can increase your risk for developing cavities and gum disease. Normal wear and tear over the years can also impact dental health, leaving the teeth more susceptible to different issues.

Dental Issues Faced by Seniors

While there are many dental issues that can affect anyone, regardless of age, there are some issues that are more common in seniors. These dental issues include:
•  Tooth discoloration. As you age, the enamel layer of your teeth becomes thinner, which allows the darker dentin layer underneath to show through.
•  Xerostomia, or dry mouth. This is a condition in which you have reduced salivary flow, which leaves your mouth feeling dry and tacky. Dry mouth can be caused by many issues, including certain medical conditions, certain medications, and cancer treatments.
•  Gum recession. As you age, your gum tissue can recede. This causes your teeth to appear longer than normal. It can also lead to issues such as root decay.
•  Gum disease. Gum disease can result from many different causes, including poor oral hygiene practices, poor diet, ill-fitting dentures, and more.
•  Losing teeth. Seniors are at an increased risk of suffering tooth loss.
•  Bone loss in the jaw. Bone loss often occurs following tooth loss. As you lose bone mass, your bone becomes uneven and changes shape.
•  Oral thrush. Certain types of medications and medical conditions can lead to an overgrowth of a specific type of bacteria that can then lead to thrush.


Tips for Improving Senior Oral Health

While seniors may be more prone to different types of oral health issues, there are ways that you can keep your mouth healthy. Tips for improving oral health include:
•  Brushing twice daily with a soft bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.
•  Using an electric toothbrush rather than a manual one.
•  Using floss picks instead of traditional dental floss.
•  Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash.
•  Cleaning full or partial dentures properly every single day. In addition to cleaning them daily, it is also important that you leave them out of your mouth while you sleep. Your dentures should be left in water or a denture cleaning solution.
•  Maintain routine dental cleanings and exams.
•  Have missing teeth replaced.
•  Quit tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco.
•  Drink plenty of water.
•  Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Regardless of your age, oral hygiene is essential for preventing serious complications from developing. If you have any questions or concerns about senior dental care needs, call State Street Dental today at (971) 332-3020 and schedule your appointment.

Read More About Common Dental Concerns for Seniors

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PHONE
(971) 332-3020

EMAIL
salemdentaloffice@gmail.com

LOCATION
1800 State St.
Salem, OR 97301-4343


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