elderly woman smiling

Dental Health in The Elderly

The world’s population is getting older. The increase in life expectancy has led to a considerable increase in the number of people over 65 years of age in recent decades. Aging is an inevitable and irreversible process. The aging process is not a disease per se. It is a more part of life that favors the emergence of a number of diseases.

The Aging Process

During aging, a series of morphological and physiological changes are produced as a consequence of the action of the passage of time, which leads to changes with more or less important functional erosions in the different parts of the body. In the oral cavity, for example, the signs of aging become visible at all levels: teeth, gums, salivary glands, jaw bone, and oral mucosa; among other things.

Oral Diseases

Oral diseases are not specific to the elderly. However, since they are a much more vulnerable and fragile group, it is not uncommon for them to be present in an atypical way, and to tend to become chronic without complete restoration, and to be functionally limited with a tendency to disability and associated with higher morbidity.

Despite the high prevalence of oral problems, dental consultations among the elderly are scarce, either because they assume that what happens to them is something inherent to aging, or because they cannot bear the economic cost of the treatment.

Proper Hygiene

It is important for the elderly to maintain proper dental hygiene, both for teeth, gums, and prostheses; frequently renew the toothbrush, and perform fluoridated rinses. It is also essential to use a product that stimulates saliva production, and visiting a specialist at least once a year will allow you to age without losing teeth and maintain good oral health.

Avoid Complications

To avoid complications and prevent food from affecting oral health, the following measures should be taken:

  • Maintain a balanced diet
  • Do not abuse sugary foods and drinks
  • Limit meals between meals
  • Brush your teeth after every meal
  • Use a suitable mouthwash
  • Visit the dentist regularly

Fruits and vegetables, dairy products, fluoridated water, or tea are some of the foods that should never be lacking in a proper diet. Sweets, sodas, refined sugars, and acidic foods should be avoided. In fact, the more the better!

Healthy Habits

Oral hygiene and healthy habits will be two fundamental measures to maintain oral health and avoid local or systemic complications that could derive from its loss. Brushing your teeth with the correct technique for 2 minutes after each meal will be the first step to take. To do this, use a toothbrush with a suitable head that allows access to all corners and with bristles of medium hardness that do not damage the tissues, which should be changed every 3 months if possible.

Conclusion

Last but not least, regular visits with the dentist will allow any alteration to be detected in time and take the appropriate measures since prevention is the first step to having good oral health; even for the elderly. No matter your age, you should search online for Dentist near me Huntsville AL so you can maintain dental hygiene.

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