Seniors and Oral Health Care

Good dental health is important for any age group, but it is especially so for those over age 55.Good oral health for seniors can help to prevent bacteria from growing rampantly in the mouth, a situation that’s been linked to a greater risk of stroke, heart disease and systematic infections.

Older patients also have a few additional risk factors that make them prone to tooth decay and gum disease. Many seniors have dentures or partials, both of which are a favorite haven for bacteria if not cleaned properly. Seniors are also more likely to have type 2 diabetes, a condition that increases a person’s susceptibility to tooth decay.

Good dental care for seniors should include both regular preventative visits to a dentist and good at­home care. During office exams, dental professionals should take x­rays to make sure there are no problem areas in the mouth, clean the teeth thoroughly and periodically perform an oral cancer screening. All of these procedures are painless.

At home dental care involves flossing and brushing your teeth at least twice daily, ideally after meals. With a little care, your teeth can and will last a lifetime.