FAQs For Seniors about Dental Care
Posted on 11/10/2015 by Robert Leale
|Dental health needs change with age, and for that reason, seniors often have questions about what is going on in their mouths. By identifying the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, you can know what to expect with your oral health as you get older.
Does My Oral Cancer Risk Increase with Age?Yes, as you get older, your risk for developing oral cancer will increase. This is one of many reasons that you need to have regular dental checkups, as your dentist will look for lesions on the mouth or tongue that may be a sign of cancer. Drinking alcohol and smoking are also associated with an increased oral cancer risk.
What Could Be Causing My Sudden Teeth Sensitivity?There are several reasons that your teeth may suddenly be feeling sensitive to cold and hot temperatures. Receding gums are a primary cause, as when the gums pull back from your teeth, more of the tooth root will become exposed. Treatment suggestions for gum recession may involve soft tissue grafting, but other, less invasive options might include switching to sensitive teeth toothpaste or using a mouth rinse with fluoride.
What Can I Do About my Loose Teeth?If you find that your teeth are suddenly feeling loose or unstable, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. He or she will evaluate your condition while reviewing your dental hygiene practices and discussing your previous medical history. You should also be certain to manage any chronic medical conditions like diabetes that could be causing your teeth to feel loose.
How Can I Keep My Teeth Clean with Arthritis?If you have arthritis and find that the pain and swelling in your joints is making it hard to keep your teeth clean, there are some adaptations that you can try to make it easier to brush and floss. Consider buying a toothbrush with a larger handle, or secure an extender to the handle of a traditional toothbrush. An electric- or battery-powered toothbrush could also be a good idea, as these mechanisms can help to properly clean your teeth.
What Options Are Available to Fight My Tooth Loss?Traditional options like dentures are still available to fight tooth loss, but fixed bridges and even dental implants have been gaining in popularity. Dental implants are the most permanent solution, as they provide a permanent foundation for teeth that have been created to match your natural teeth.
Why is it Becoming Harder for Me to Chew and Swallow My Favorite Foods?Difficulties with chewing and swallowing can be caused by dry mouth, dentures, tooth decay, or another condition. Good nutrition is important for your overall and oral health, so be sure to choose a diet that is low in fat, cholesterol, sugars, and salt. You should also be sure to get enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet.
What Should I Do if My Dentures Feel Uncomfortable?The gums and the bones that support the teeth will change as you get older, and they can start to feel loose as their shape is altered. If your dentures suddenly don't fit right, you should never try to change the shape on your own, as you could cause permanent damage. Instead, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have them adjusted so that they can fit in your mouth properly again. If you are in a pinch, use an adhesive to keep them stable up until you can see your dentist.
Does My Dentist Need to Know About My Medications?The medications that you are taking can impact your oral health, so be sure to take an updated medication list in to each one of your appointments. Certain medications can lead to side effects with your mouth, including halitosis, dry mouth, and other bothersome conditions.
Please contact us if you have any questions about your oral health in your golden years.