Your elderly family member’s dental health is extremely important for her future health. If you can stay on top of some of these issues, then it becomes much easier to avoid some of the bigger problems that might be headed her way. Try to get your senior to open up to you about what’s going on with her oral health and make sure that you stick to those dental appointments.
Tooth Decay and Loss
As your elderly family member ages, she may have teeth that are damaged or that have some decay. Some of those teeth may become loose and fall out or they may need to be removed by a dentist. As your senior loses teeth, other situations may become worse. One such issue is that she may experience bone loss in her jaw that changes how her remaining teeth fit together.
Dentures and Associated Issues
Your elderly family member may also need dentures at some point, which can change her life after she’s lost some or all of her teeth. It’s vital that she takes care of her dentures and her mouth properly, however. Keeping up with dental appointments helps to ensure that they fit properly and that she doesn’t have to deal with open sores or other irritations that could keep her from eating.
Medications, tooth decay, and simply a reduction in the saliva that your senior’s mouth produces can cause her to experience dry mouth. As irritating as dry mouth is, it can also create other problems, such as contributing to further tooth decay and bad breath. Your senior may also find it difficult to eat, which can create serious health problems if left too long.
Reduced Sense of Taste
Lots of things change for your aging adult as she grows older and one of the most disturbing for her could be that she loses her sense of taste. Foods that used to be delicious may now seem to have no taste at all. This dramatically affects your senior’s willingness and ability to eat and it can create nutritional deficits for her down the line.
Facing these challenges head-on might mean that you and your senior need to talk to each other more openly about what she’s experiencing. Sometimes this can be easier for your elderly family member if she mentions problems she’s having to senior care providers, simply because they’re more removed from the situation.