As we get older, it’s even more important to take good care of our teeth and gums. In fact, a little preventive care can really go a long way!
Senior citizens face some unique issues and it becomes more important than ever to brush twice daily, floss once a day and have a dental cleaning and examination twice a year. Here’s why:
- Dry mouth. Often, certain medications, especially those used to control high blood pressure, can cause dry mouth as a side effect. Dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but a lack of saliva can cause tooth decay. Ask your doctor about medications available to counter this effect and boost saliva production.
- Tooth weakening. Many seniors are prone to a vitamin D deficiency. This vitamin is essential to the effective absorption of calcium which helps to strengthen our bones and teeth. Check with your doctor on the benefits of taking a vitamin D supplement along with calcium.
- Gum disease. Periodontal or gum disease is not a part of getting older! Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease marked by red and swollen gums that bleed easily, can be reversed with careful brushing and flossing to remove damaging plaque from between the teeth. You can reduce the chance of periodontal disease with good oral care as well as semi-annual cleanings and exams.
Remember – you are never too old to learn new and healthy habits! In addition to daily oral care, avoid eating and drinking acidic and sugary food and drinks. If you are a smoker or use any tobacco products, kick the habit! Smoking can weaken the bone structure of your jaw and this may be an issue when you need dental work like an implant.
No matter what your age, if you notice any tooth pain or damage, or problems with your gums such as bleeding or sensitivity, please make an appointment to see us right away. We will work with you to halt the damage, fix the problem and set you on the right road to a lifetime of good oral health.
Let Us Know If You Have Questions on Any Aspect of Oral Health Care
Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.