As you age, taking care of your oral health becomes more important. A number of oral issues like toothache, loose teeth, cavities and issues due to dentures happen in old age. The number and intensity of these problems increase as we age.
Ill oral health means you face the following problems:
- Your teeth are covered with dirt and debris
- Gums are red, swollen or pus-filled. They may hurt or bleed when you brush
- You have recurring bad breath
Older adults may face any oral disorder from dry mouth to periodontal disease. Good oral health is an indicator of good overall health. In fact, several studies show that maintaining good oral health is as important as maintaining a good heart or bones.
Why is oral care so important?
Oral hygiene directly impacts the general health of the entire body. That is why it is so important to maintain good oral hygiene. These diseases in senior citizens are linked to oral hygiene:
- Heart diseases
- Discolored teeth
- Dry mouth
- Gum disease
- Denture Stomatitis
- Tooth and root decay
- Uneven jawbone
Here we give you some tips that will help you maintain your oral hygiene and keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong:
1. Brush and floss daily: Brushing and flossing helps remove plaque. Plaque is a sticky layer of bacteria that gets deposited over teeth. The build-up of plaque over teeth causes problems like cavities and gum disease.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste twice a day, or as advised by your dentist.
- The best times to brush are before breakfast and before bed.
- Floss between teeth. If flossing is difficult for you, you can use special brushes or picks to clean between your teeth.
2. Be aware of changes in the mouth: There is a greater chance of oral cancer occurrence as you age. If you notice any changes in your mouth, contact your doctor as soon as possible. Watch out for the following symptoms. If they last for two weeks or more, it is important to visit your doctor:
- A spot in your mouth, lip or throat that feels sore or uncomfortable
- A lump or a thickened area in any part of your mouth
- A white or red patch in your mouth
- Difficulty in swallowing or chewing or talking
- Numbness in your tongue or mouth
- Swollen Jaw
- Pain in one ear without loss of hearing
3. Visit your dentist regularly: While you visit a physician regularly for health check-ups, many older adults ignore visits to the dentist. Your teeth need regular check-up and cleaning. Your dentist is the best person to advise you on proper dental care. They can also tell you how often you need to visit them to maintain proper oral hygiene.
4. Tell your dentist about the dry mouth: Dry mouth or xerosis is a condition in which there is less saliva secretion.it leads to bad breath and difficulty in swallowing and talking. Dry mouth can happen due to certain medical conditions like diabetes or medical interventions like chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer. If you are experiencing this condition, talk to your dentist about it and get your medicines changed.
5. Follow healthy habits: Healthy dietary practices ensure that your oral health is perfect. Habits like not brushing, using tobacco products, drinking alcohol and sugary, fizzy drinks can all damage oral health. Alcohol increases the chances of the occurrence of oral cancer. Smoking causes gum diseases. Following healthy habits makes your mouth happy.
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