We provide a full range of dental services in Joondalup for a wide range of people. That includes a lot of senior citizens. As you get older, it is even more important to take care of your teeth. We want you to keep your teeth and your smile well into your “golden years.”
It is still essential to brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Despite what you may have heard, you still need to floss your teeth to remove plaque from in between the teeth and down by the gumline.
However, that isn’t all you can do. It is important to monitor other aspects of your life and address problems immediately as they come up.
Watch for Gum Disease
The most common gum disease, gingivitis, has been linked to increased incidence of heart disease and dementia. If your teeth have plaque, they have a bacteria that attacks your gums. Some symptoms of gingivitis: bleeding, swollen and/or red gums. Any of these symptoms are enough that you should go see your dentist immediately.
If gingivitis persists, it can eventually lead to more serious periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease is present in most adults. Severe gum disease is present in about 25% of those aged from 65-74 years old.
If serious gum disease is untreated, the bacteria can get into the pockets between the teeth and gums. This can actually weaken the bone and cause your teeth to fall out. If you have osteoporosis, your risk of losing teeth is even greater.
If you find flossing to be too difficult, your dentist can prescribe something that will serve as an alternative to flossing and will keep your infection from worsening.
If You Can’t Brush
If you find it difficult to brush or floss due to an ailment like arthritis or a neuromuscular disorder, talk to your dentist. There is an array of dental products that are meant to make brushing and flossing easier. For example, you may want an electric toothbrush or you may rig your toothbrush with a larger handle to ease pressure on arthritic hands.
Watch Out for Oral Cancer
Once you pass the age of forty, your risk of oral cancer increases. If you find any white or red patches on your tongue or gums, see your dentist ASAP. Sores that don’t heal within two weeks are also risky.
Oral cancer isn’t pleasant, but it can be cured easily if it is detected in its early stages. Your dentist can screen you for cancer by performing a simple head and neck exam.
What About Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, means your salivary glands aren’t working at all. This can be due to disease, cancer treatment or other medicines. It can be more difficult to speak, taste, eat or swallow when you have dry mouth. If you have radiation therapy and get dry mouth, it can lead to some serious complications.
Because of this, it is important to see your dentist immediately if you are starting any cancer treatment. To avoid dry mouth, stay away from caffeine, sweets, tobacco and alcohol. Drink plenty of water, too. Your dentist can also give you a medication that helps.
Dental Health and Overall Health
Numerous studies indicate that maintaining good oral health can lower your risk for heart disease, dementia, diabetes and a host of other medical conditions. It is extremely important that you watch your state of oral health at all ages but especially after fifty.
The biggest thing you can do to keep your dental health on track is to visit a dentist twice a year. Regular examinations and cleanings can give the dentist a chance to spot potential health problems before they become too severe.
Call 1300 Great Smile Today for Dental Services
At 1300 Great Smile, we provide a full range of dental services to the Joondalup area, such as dentures, dental implants and other procedures. We have an emergency dentist on hand long hours during the week and short hours on weekends.
To learn more, call us today:(08) 9404 9500