As we age there are some things that we tend to let slide. Dental health can be one of the good-health ensuring steps that we forget.
This is not wise, however, since dental health is connected to whole-body health.
This is why it’s important that senior loved ones have someone to remind — or help — them keep their oral health a priority. Or if you are a senior, that you have regular visits to your Q1 Dental Melbourne dentist.
As we age, dental health is important to our overall quality of life. We want to be able to chew food properly and without pain. We want to taste what we’re chewing. We want to reduce the likelihood of other health issues. And we want to save money.
The good news is that, no matter what state your dental health is now, solid dental hygiene and visits to Q1 Dental can help keep you healthy in your golden years!
Ageing and Dental Health
Some common age-related dental issues include:
Receding gums. It’s common for gums to start receding with age. This increases the chance that food particles can get stuck near the gum line, causing plaque and decay.
Dry mouth and related conditions. Dry mouth is common in older patients, some of which may be caused by medication taken for a chronic health condition.
Tooth loss becomes more common as the structures that hold teeth in place weaken with age.
Sensitivity to medications used during dental procedures, such as numbing agents, may decrease.
Cognitive changes affecting oral self-care. Some senior patients may have difficulty maintaining their oral self-care due to forgetfulness or dementia.
Tooth Loss. Gum disease, cavities, and accidents can cause the loss of a tooth or teeth.
Sensitivity.If hot or cold foods make you wince, you may have a common dental problem—sensitive teeth. Sensitivity in your teeth can happen for several reasons, including:
- tooth decay (cavities)
- fractured teeth
- worn fillings
- gum disease
- worn tooth enamel
- exposed tooth root
Oral Cancer. Cancer can affect the lips, gum tissue, check lining, tongue, jaw the hard or soft palate and throat. It often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore or swelling anywhere in the mouth or throat.
The symptoms of mouth or throat cancer can include:
- Sores that bleed easily or do not heal
- A thick or hard spot or lump
- A roughened or crusted area
- Numbness, pain or tenderness
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down.
If you have any of these symptoms, contact Q1 Dental immediately!
Dental Health is Overall Health
Oral health is vitally important to overall health and well-being. Research has shown a link to diabetes, heart and lung disease, stroke, and respiratory illnesses.
What causes this link? Since the mid 1990s, both the scientific community and the public have been inundated with articles addressing the association between systemic diseases and oral health. Research has demonstrated that the oral inflammation may be the culprit in these associations.
What does this mean? It means that protecting yourself from poor dental health can also protect you from other health problems as well!
How to Protect Your Dental Health
Practice good home care. This is the most obvious one. Brush and floss regularly, using adaptive toothbrushes and interdental tools if necessary. Avoid sugary or acidic foods. Don’t chew on hard or sticky foods. Drink plenty of water for health and to avoid dry mouth.
Visit your dentist regularly. Regular dental exams/checkups and teeth cleanings are as important as they ever were. Remember, regular dental visits can protect your pocketbook from more expensive dental treatment down the line.
Switch to an electric toothbrush if necessary. An electric toothbrush not only makes brushing easier; patients say it makes it fun, too! If arthritis or decreased mobility/flexibility are an issue, consider switching to an electric toothbrush.
Take care of your dentures. Clean and soak as instructed by your dentist and if your dentures start to fit oddly, be sure to see a dentist for a professional answer. Over the counter denture “fix” kits are not good solutions.
Replace missing teeth with dental implants. Historically, dentures or bridges have been the answer to missing teeth. But today many patients choose dental implants to replace missing teeth because they look and feel more natural than dentures.
Visit Us at Q1 Dental in Melbourne
At Q1 Dental our training and experience can improve your smile and dental health, no matter what your age!
The Q1 Dental practice is conveniently located in St. Kilda Road Towers at No. 1 Queens Road in the heart of the St. Kilda Road business precinct. We are near public transport and mere minutes from the Melbourne CBD.
For Medibank Private, HCF and CBHS, claim your PAY NO GAP OFFER on a check-up and cleaning. Call us on (03) 9078 1955 or book your appointment online.
Special Offer for New Senior Patients
- No Gap for Checkup and Clean for Medibank, Bupa, HCF and CBHS
- FREE Dental Implants Consultation