What You Need to Know About Dental Health for Aging Adults

You’ve been hearing it since childhood: brush and floss your teeth and don’t forget to visit the dentist! Those all still remain true and are even more important as we age. For aging adults, you put yourself at risk of oral health problems if you do not take care of your dental health by practicing good oral hygiene.

Risks of Poor Oral Health

Some of the risk of poor oral or dental health are listed below. The result of these issues can include difficulty consuming a healthy diet, increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health conditions:

  • Dry mouth
  • Diminished sense of taste
  • Root decay
  • Gum disease
  • Uneven jawbone caused by tooth loss
  • Denture-induced tissue inflammation
  • Overgrowth of fungus in the mouth, known as thrush
  • Attrition (loss of teeth structure by mechanical forces)
  • Oral Cancer

How to Improve your Oral Health

There are simple ways to keep your teeth, gums and dental health up-to-par. Here are some easy ways to do so:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss once a day
  • Get regular dental check-ups (even if you have dentures!)
  • Drink fluoridated water and use fluoride toothpaste to help prevent tooth decay
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol
  • Review the side effects of medications as they can often cause dry mouth
  • Keep your toothbrush and other oral hygiene equipment clean

Age is not the exact cause of declining oral health. There are certain conditions, like arthritis, that can make brushing or flossing difficult at times. Also, other chronic conditions both mentally and physically can put oral hygiene at the bottom of the priority list. It can also just be forgotten. Make sure you educate your aging loved one on the risks and importance of good oral care and start maintaining a healthier oral care routine today!