Seniors And Oral Health- Understanding Proper Dental Health Care No Matter Your Age

By: Gen Wright

As we age, our health continues to change. However, there is no reason why we shouldn't be healthy for a lifetime. With proper at-home oral health care and regular visits to your dentist in Jackson as a senior, you can keep your teeth for a lifetime. Whether you are caring for natural teeth or dentures, you may face an array of special oral concerns such as root decay and dry mouth as a senior.

It is estimated that almost 250 million people, approximately 40%, of the adult population in Europe, the United States and Japan suffer from some form of a loss of teeth. Incidence of tooth loss generally increases with age and can pose a great threat to the health of your smile. There is no reason for you to not keep your teeth your entire life, providing you maintain a healthy balanced diet and practice good oral hygiene. You can keep your smile healthy for a lifetime by following routine proper oral care and making regular visits to your dentist in Jackson.

Dry Mouth Syndrome

Also called xerostomia, dry mouth is a common problem among older adults. The Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that 20 percent of seniors suffer from dry mouth, which is a hidden cause of tooth loss and gum disease in 30 percent of adults. Dry mouth is the reduced flow of saliva, and can be a symptom of a particular medical condition or a side effect of certain medications. Common medications that may cause dry mouth include:

* Blood pressure medications
* Pain pills
* Decongestants
* Incontinence medications
* Antidepressants
* Diuretics
* Muscle relaxers
* Parkinson's disease medications

Sufficient saliva is needed in the mouth to wash away food debris and to reduce plaque by neutralizing the acids that plaque produces. Severe tooth decay, as well as other mouth problems, often occur if dry mouth is left untreated. If you suffer from dry mouth, talk to your Jackson dentist about available treatment methods. Since extensive tooth decay is often a result of dry mouth, it is important to maintain proper oral health care daily.

Maintaining Proper Oral Care

Proper oral care can keep you smiling well into retirement. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle brush. Flossing can help save your teeth by removing plaque between your teeth and below the gum line that your toothbrush can't reach. Many people don't realize how important it is to take care of your gums.

Additionally, if you suffer from arthritis, you may find it difficult to brush and floss for proper oral health care and prevention of diseases. When regular oral care is too difficult, your dentist can provide alternatives to aid in flossing and prescribe medication to keep the infection from getting worse. Certain dental products are designed to make dental care less painful for arthritis sufferers.

Contact your Jackson dentist today for more information on how to properly care for your teeth as you age. Maintaining a healthy mouth may keep your body healthier and help you avoid diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

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Established in 1993, Dr. Constance Smith, Jackson dentist, is excited to welcome her son, Dr. Ian Liskiewicz, to join her in her practice. Together this mother-son dental team provides quality dental care for patients of all ages, including services such as teeth whitening, dental implants, veneers and dentures in Jackson.

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