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Dental Care for Seniors

Getting older can bring about a range of dental care issues. 

Whether you have your own teeth or wear dentures, you still have to keep an eye on your oral health. You should check regularly for various changes to your oral health.

Some illnesses associated with old age can cause dental health issues. For instance, if you have cancer and have had radiation and chemotherapy treatments, then you may suffer from a dry mouth because of a reduction of saliva. Also, medications can have side effects that can affect your teeth and gums or reduce your sense of taste.

Lots to know about teeth. There is much to know and remember about teeth, including:

  • Being aware of changes to the enamel or dentine outer layer of your teeth, the gum line and the roots of your teeth. 
  • Watching for changes in the color of your teeth. If you drink wine or coffee, these can cause your teeth to become stained. If you smoke, the nicotine can also stain your teeth. You can use toothpaste to help reduce the staining. 
  • Realizing that tooth and root decay can be painful. Decay is caused by poor oral health and excessive exposure to acids from what you eat and drink. The roots of your teeth can become exposed because our gums recede with age. 
  • Recognizing that the buildup of plaque or particles of food can lead to gum disease. If you have chipped or lost a tooth or your teeth feel loose, then you should get in to see a dentist as soon as possible. 

Dentures. If you have dentures, you should get them checked, especially if you have had them for some time. As we age, our gums change in shape, and dentures may become loose or ill fitting. You should get your dentures checked for damage and replace them if they have worn or are discolored, chipped or broken. 

Looking after your teeth, gums and oral hygiene can be useful for preventing other health problems. Your dentist will provide good advice on how to improve the health of your teeth and gums, and will and deal with any issues that they find during regular check-ups.

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