How to Help the Elderly Improve Their Oral Health

Teeth problems appear to be a natural side effect of aging. After all, there is a good chance that many senior citizens you know suffer from some kind of oral healthcare problem. Well, while such issues may seem inevitable, they actually aren’t.

A number of dental problems can be avoided if elderly individuals are taught and guided on what to do. They will then find it a great deal easier to follow a routine that maintains their teeth and gum health while also preventing future conditions as well. Here is what you can do.

Upgrade Their Brushing Utensils

A number of older individuals may be at risk of developing periodontal disease – an extreme version of gum disease. Now, this condition can wreak havoc in the mouths of the elderly, resulting in gum reduction and even tooth loss.

Unfortunately, it can get worse. There is some evidence to prove that periodontal disease can cause an illness known as aspiration pneumonia, which has a high mortality rate. So, if steps are not taken to avoid periodontal disease, the situation can become rather dire.

The good news is that there is a rather simple step to avoid this situation: thoroughly brushing teeth on a regular basis. This can reduce the plaque build-up that can then lead to periodontal disease. Now, if the elderly person in your life has a tough time holding or maneuvering their toothbrush this can be difficult.

Thus, you should encourage them to use an electric or battery-powered toothbrush instead. Experts have found that weaker individuals find these easier to use. What’s more, they are incredibly effective at reducing plaque and tartar in the mouth as well.

Improve Oral Environment

Another thing that senior citizens are more likely to suffer from is Xerostomia – or dry mouth. This happens when there is a decrease in saliva production. It is often the result of a medication or other medical conditions.

Now, although many people don’t realise it, saliva plays an important role in oral health. For one thing, it has antimicrobial properties, preventing bacteria from flourishing in the mouth. What’s more, it can prevent the build-up of plaque on your teeth. It even helps to dilute the sugars from food and drink.

So, when there is reduced production of saliva, this can result in fungal infections, periodontitis, and even alteration of taste. Fortunately, this can be solved rather easily as well. However, the affected person will need to inform their doctor when they notice dry mouth. The doctor can then prescribe medications that can restore saliva production once more.

Consider New Treatments for Tooth Problems

What you may not realise is that dentistry has come quite far over the last few years. These days, there are plenty of ways to overcome common tooth problems. For instance, if your loved one suffers from extensive tooth loss, they may not need to rely on cumbersome dentures anymore.

Instead, they can use dental implants or similar tactics to restore the appearance of their teeth. These newer strategies are also more durable and long-lasting than previous options as well. Therefore, they can really help to improve your loved one’s quality of life.

Of course, there is no denying that these options can be rather pricey, particularly within the UK. So, if you would like to cut costs but retain treatment quality, you should consider dental Turkey. It is quickly becoming a popular destination for people from all over the world. 

Visit Dentists Frequently

Even with better toothbrushes and a modified oral routine, senior citizens may still struggle with proper tooth and gum care. This is why it is so important for them to visit a dentist at least once or twice a year. An oral healthcare professional can clean their teeth properly and work to keep various conditions at bay.

Dentists play a significant role in reducing the risk of other health conditions as well. This includes oral cancers. Thus, it is important that elderly individuals stick with their dental appointments and make sure that they are healthy overall.

To make certain of this, make the appointments for them. Also, accompany them on their visits so that you can keep track of what is going on with their oral health as well. This is the best way to check that they are actually visiting their dentist.

These are the top ways elderly individuals can improve their oral health. In doing so, they can advance their quality of life while also keeping various other issues at bay. Thus, it is imperative that you help them with this.


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