Oral tips for seniors | Keeping the mouth younger

As your number of years gradually rises, the body slowly deteriorates. The mouth is no exception to this law. That's why seniors are at an even higher risk of suffering from tooth loss, decay and mouth infections. The continual biting and chewing over the years can take a toll on the teeth, and an unhealthy lifestyle puts the seniors in an even worse position. However, there are a number of things you can do to maintain the health of your teeth if you are a senior. Here are some of them.

Regular dental visits.

Most of the causes of wear and tear can be cured by a quick trip to a dental clinic. The exposure of the teeth to acidic foods such as carbonated beverages dissolves the enamel and weakens it. Once the outer enamel layer thins out, the darker yellow dentin starts revealing itself, darkening your teeth. Over time, more complex conditions may develop, including gum diseases such as gingivitis.

Fluoride rinses and other cleanings at the dentist can stop the progress of any decay or even reverse it. The fluoride encourages the absorption of phosphorus and calcium to the enamel and assists in repairing weak spots. You could also have a bleaching procedure to get the white sparkle back to your smile.

Keep your mouth moist.

A dry mouth is one of the most common side effects in seniors, particularly when taking meds. This condition is known as xerostomia. The absence of saliva is not only uncomfortable, but it can also make chewing and swallowing very difficult. Additionally, germs thrive a lot better in a dry mouth, so this condition can also lead to infections.

To solve this, chew on some sugarless gums, or suck sugarless candy to stimulate the glands in producing more saliva. Drinking plenty of water also stimulates the production of more saliva. Hold the water in the mouth for a few seconds before swallowing it.

Take care of your dentures.

Dentures need to be cleaned and properly maintained so as to keep your mouth clean and fresh. Properly cleaning your dentures also reduces the bad bacteria that accumulate in your mouth. Use a denture cleaner and not a toothbrush when cleaning them, because a toothbrush may be too abrasive. Most dentures require you to keep them moist so that they maintain their shape. Soak them overnight in a mild denture-soaking solution.

It's worth noting that the shape of your gums and mouth changes over time, so inform your dentist of any different feeling on them. Poorly fitting dentures can lead to a condition called stomatitis, which is normally an inflammation of the tissues that are beneath the dentures.