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Oral Health Should Be A Priority During Senior Years

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Regular oral hygiene and care are important throughout life, especially during your senior years. Yet, nearly 1 in 4 seniors — 23 percent — haven’t received oral care from a dentist in the previous 5 years, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

When it comes to caring for dental, Gainesville seniors can rely on Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry to provide quality oral care and treatment throughout their golden years.

Common Oral Health Issues For Seniors

If you experience any of these oral health issues, contact a dentist in Gainesville, FL, seniors turn to at Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry. Many oral issues are treatable if discovered early.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a common oral health issue for seniors because patients often experience little pain until the condition is in an advanced stage. Gum disease can destroy the bone, gums, and ligaments that support your teeth and eventually cause tooth loss.

Darkened Or Discolored Teeth

There are several reasons why seniors may experience darkened or discolored teeth as they age, such as changes to the dentin and thinning enamel. Dentin, a bone-like tissue found underneath the enamel, tends to naturally yellow with age. When the layer of enamel thins, the appearance of dentin becomes more prominent.

Dry Mouth

Many seniors are surprised when they start developing cavities, which are often caused by dry mouth. Dry mouth can be a result of medications as well as certain medical conditions, such as diabetes. Yet, there are many ways to treat and prevent dry mouth, including:

  • Avoiding beverages and foods that may irritate dry mouths, such as acidic fruit juices, teas, and coffee;
  • Drinking more water to keep your mouth moist, including when you don’t feel thirsty; and
  • Using a humidifier to increase moisture in the air.

How To Care For Gums & Teeth During Senior Years

Caring for your gums and teeth is generally the same as you age but with a few extra considerations.

Continue Brushing & Flossing

Keeping gums and teeth healthy as you age is imperative for good oral health. Your Gainesville dentist recommends continuing to brush for at least two minutes each time and floss twice a day no matter how old you are. Brushing and flossing are also the best defense against developing gum disease and tooth decay.

Schedule Check-Ups

Regular dental check-ups allow the staff at Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry to discover and treat oral issues before they become a problem. X-rays are taken to screen for cancerous and noncancerous growths while other screenings may unearth systemic problems that need to be treated. During these check-ups, your dentist can help you adjust brushing technique to compensate for decreased dexterity.

Clean Dentures Daily

Many seniors use dentures as they age. These prosthetic devices need cleaning each day to remove food particles and prevent staining. Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry recommends removing dentures for at least four hours each day, such as while sleeping, to help maintain healthy gums.

Tell Your Gainesville Dentist About Medical Conditions

Many common medical conditions affect your oral health but can be accommodated with thorough communication with your dentist. Always tell your Gainesville dentistry professional of any conditions and medications you’re taking to prevent medication interaction.

Dentists In Gainesville, FL

The dentists in Gainesville, FL at Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry strive to help everyone enjoy good dental hygiene regardless of age. Our staff is dedicated to providing compassionate and outstanding dental care to every patient. Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry offers convenient scheduling, including evenings and Saturdays. To schedule a check-up, contact our office today!