Senior Care in Fairfax, VA
Unfortunately, aging seniors often experience an increase in dental problems. Quality oral care is important for seniors to prevent cavities, tooth loss, gum disease, and other oral problems. Unfortunately, poor oral care in seniors may increase the risk for other heart conditions, such as heart disease, so it’s essential to make sure that seniors receive the dental care they need. Family members and elderly care professionals can work together to ensure a senior receives proper oral care.
Common Oral Health Problems in Seniors
As seniors grow older, they are at risk for many different oral health problems, including:
* Dry Mouth – Reduced saliva flow often occurs in seniors, often as a side effect to medications being given to the senior. Dry mouth has the potential to cause bad breath and tooth decay.
* Darkened Teeth – Changes in the dentin, and a lifetime of consuming foods and drink that stain teeth, often result in darkened teeth. When the outer layer of enamel thins, the dark yellow dentin often shows through.
* Root Decay – When the roots of the teeth are exposed to certain acids, it may result in root decay. Roots often become exposed when gum tissue begins to recede away from teeth. Since there’s no enamel to protect the roots, they are more susceptible to decay.
* Reduced Sense of Taste – As seniors age, the sense of taste is often impaired. However, dentures, certain medications, and diseases may also result in a reduced sense of taste.
* Gum Disease – Gum disease is often caused by plaque, and poor fitting dentures or bridges, a poor diet, and leaving food in teeth only make gum disease worse.
* Oral Thrush – Certain medications and drugs may result in the overgrowth of Candida albicans, which can result in oral thrush.
* Tooth Loss – As a result of gum disease, many seniors often end up dealing with tooth loss.
Essential Oral Hygiene Tips for Seniors
While in-home care givers often help with oral hygiene, family members may be able to encourage seniors to take better care of their dental health as well. Home care professionals and family members can use these essential tips to ensure seniors receive the proper oral care they require to prevent oral health problems.
* Tip #1 – Offer Foods That Clean Teeth – To prevent plaque buildup, consider offering seniors foods that will clean their teeth naturally. Great options include celery, carrots, or an apple. Consider giving seniors these foods at the end of a meal.
* Tip #2 – Consider Brushing with Seniors – Sometimes seniors forget to brush their teeth and they may not want to be reminded regularly. Brushing with seniors is a great way to model good oral hygiene and to gently encourage seniors to ensure they brush at least twice each day.
* Tip #3 – Don’t Forget Flossing – Flossing is very important for seniors as well, since it removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth. Consider using flossing sticks to make flossing easier.
Oral care is an important part of elderly care and by ensuring that seniors take good care of their teeth, it’s possible to help prevent other health issues. With proper dental care, seniors can enjoy a healthy mouth and smile for many years.
If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home senior care in Fairfax, VA, call the caring staff at Medical Professionals On Call today. 703-273-8818