The importance of oral health care in the elderly

Poor oral health reduces longevity and can have serious effects on one’s overall wellness.

We would all love to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile for life, but the reality is that oral health care for the elderly has become increasingly challenging. Read on to find out why this is the case and what you can do to better care for your teeth and gums for the sake of your overall health and wellbeing…

Why is oral health care for the elderly such a challenge?

There are a few reasons why oral health care for the elderly is becoming increasingly difficult. In general, senior citizens are keeping their natural teeth for longer. They don’t have all of their teeth removed. It means that the roots of damaged teeth are often left exposed. It makes the teeth particularly prone to decay. Also, the gaps between teeth tend to trap food as the gums continue to recede.

Another issue that affects many senior citizens is the use of certain medications. Many prescription medications tend to dry out the mouth, which increases the risk of issues like tooth decay.

Also, it is common for elderly individuals to lose their ability to manage and maintain their oral hygiene as they get older. Unfortunately, even those in care facilities do not always receive the assistance they need. It can happen if there are staff shortages or carers have not received formal training about oral hygiene.

For many people, it becomes increasingly difficult to access adequate oral health care as they age. It can be difficult to get to the dentist. Plus, the cost of modern dentistry is often prohibitive for the elderly. It can lead to a considerable deterioration of oral health, which leads to issues like tooth decay, dental abscess, and advanced gum disease.

How can tooth decay be resolved?

Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are among the best ways to maintain a healthy smile in the long term. But the reality is that these are not always possible for elderly patients. Fortunately, there is now an alternative and affordable treatment that can help stop the tooth decay process and alleviate painful symptoms.

This treatment, which involves the direct application of Silver Fluoride followed by Stannous Fluoride on active areas of decay, helps to kill decay-forming bacteria. The fluoride ions also help remineralise the areas of decay and stop the decay process. As well as preventing further decay, the treatment also helps to reduce sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet foods and drinks.

It is important to understand that the treatment is not suitable in severe cases of decay or dental abscess, so early treatment is advisable. In some cases, it is still necessary to have a filling placed, but the need for an extraction is usually greatly reduced. The treatment goes a long way in conserving the damaged tooth’s natural structure and maintaining its strength for longer.

How can we help?

At Future Dental, we treat patients of all ages. We understand that each age group has its own unique set of oral health needs, which is why we tailor our services and treatments to suit each of our patients. We offer a range of tooth-conserving procedures that are aimed at helping all our patients keep their natural teeth for life.

If you are a senior citizen and would like to maintain your oral health, or you are caring for an elderly family member and would like to help them take good care of their smile, we encourage you to discuss your needs with our friendly and experienced team.

To find out the full range of treatments we offer at Future Dental, please have a look here.

If you would like to come in for a consultation, please contact us here or give us a call at (07) 4051 4580.

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  • Phone (07) 4051 4580
  • Fax (07) 4031 5226
  • Email
  • Address Ground Floor "Accent on McLeod"
    93-95 McLeod St

    Cairns QLD 4870
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