What can I expect to happen to my teeth and gums as I get older?

Elderly oral health doesn’t have to be an oxymoron. With proper home oral hygiene habits and adequate professional care, from a homebound care dentist when necessary, older adults can enjoy healthy smiles throughout their lives.

As you get older, it becomes even more important to keep up with good dental habits that promote healthy teeth and gums. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. If physical limitations make it difficult for you to manage this task, ask your dentist for pointers on how to adjust your routine or consider getting assistance from a caregiver, if necessary. Additionally, caregivers should be sure to perform oral hygiene tasks for patients with advanced dementia that limits their ability to manage their own oral hygiene.

Unfortunately, however, it can be more challenging to maintain elderly oral health due to certain factors associated with aging. Dry mouth, which is a common side effect of many medications that older adults use, can give oral bacteria the opportunity to proliferate because there’s not enough saliva in the mouth to wash them away. Those oral bacteria can cause tooth decay and gum disease, and if those conditions aren’t treated promptly, they can lead to tooth and bone loss. Additionally, certain health conditions, such as arthritis, may make it more difficult for you to brush and floss thoroughly.

A homebound care dentist can make it easier for older adults to get the professional dental care that they need. Some elderly patients may face significant challenges in getting out of the house to a dental office because of physical or cognitive impairments. We solve this problem by bringing the dentist to you. With portable equipment, we are able to provide basic services, including cleanings and exams, as well as restorations when needed.

With proper dental care, patients can benefit from healthy teeth and gums for their entire lifespan, even in their senior years. If you are an older adult (or know one) interested in receiving dental care at home, call our office to learn more about our services.

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