Oral Care and Getting Older

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How important is oral care as I get older?

The older we get oral health care is just as important if not more important. Oral health is a major component of our overall health. As we get older we face more medical problems and take more medications than ever before. Being able to chew comfortably and properly becomes more important so that we have adequate nutrition to help maintain ourselves.

What Do I Need to Let My Dentist Know?

It’s important to let your dental office know of any changes in your dental health as well as information about any medications you may be taking. Today many medications and some medical treatments can cause oral health issues, the most common of which is dry mouth or xerostomia. Your dental health care professional will check to see how these may affect you.

What is dry mouth and how can it be treated?

One of the biggest problems we have seen in the last couple of years is a tremendous increase in dry mouth. According to the Amerian Dental Association over Twenty Five Million Americans have inadequate salivary flow. Decreased salivary flow is a problem as those people will lack the cleansing and protective functions provided by saliva. Patients with dry mouth may feel like they have wadded up cotton in their mouth. These same individuals may have problems chewing, tasting, swallowing and numerous other things.

Since saliva plays an important part in helping to rinse away and neutralize bacteria, dry mouth may increase your chances for developing dental decay and other infections such as gum disease in the mouth. It is important to take extra precautions to keep your teeth healthy if you have dry mouth. Make sure you visit your dentist for a check-up at least twice a year.

When is the best time to schedule my dental appointment?

It is best to schedule dental appointments after you have had breakfast and taken your morning pills, therefore the best time is probably mid-morning. It may be necessary to schedule multiple, shorter appointments vs. longer appointment for older patients.