Seniors Dental Care
- brushing and flossing real or replacement teeth twice daily
- Using toothpaste containing fluoride
- Eating a healthy diet and limiting sweets
- Avoiding tobacco. Smokers have a greater risk of developing gum disease than non-smokers
- Limiting alcohol. Alcohol and tobacco used together are the primary risk factors for oral cancers
- Visiting a dentist at least every six months.
Seniors need to continue to focus on cavity prevention.
The causes of tooth decay are the same for all ages. Decay happens when the bacteria in plaque feeds on the sugar in our diet to produce acid that can cause cavities.
Many older adults grew up without fluoride in the water. Therefore, they are more likely to have decay around fillings. Decay of the tooth root is also common in older adults because when the gums recede this exposes the softer root surface which decays easier than tooth enamel.
Seniors need to continue to focus on prevention of gum disease.
Gum disease (the technical term is periodontal disease) often progresses at a slow pace, over time, with no pain. As a result, it’s very common in older adults. And it’s important to know that there is evidence linking gum disease to heart disease, respiratory disorders and strokes.
If gum disease goes undetected, it can do a great deal of damage. It is primarily caused by plaque but there are other factors that may increase the risk and severity of the condition including:
- Food left between the teeth
- Smokeless tobacco use
- Poorly aligned teeth
- Poorly fitted partial dentures or bridges
- Poor diets and
- Systemic diseases (e.g. anemia)
The good news is that gum disease can be stopped! Make sure you look for these warning signs and see your dentist immediately if you notice any of the following:
- Bleeding gums when you brush
- Tender, red or swollen gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Pus between your teeth and gums when the gums are pressed
- Any change in your bite
- Any change in the fit of your partial dentures
- Constant bad taste or bad breath
Anxious about visiting the dentist?
Feeling anxious about visiting the dentist is not unusual – it can happen at any age! It’s important to know that you don’t have to tolerate toothaches, bleeding gums or clicking dentures.
(Information provided by the Ontario Dental Association)
Dr. Appleton wants to make you as comfortable as possible. Please share your feelings with his staff so that they can adjust your treatment to meet your needs.
Please call 905-668-6301 if you have any questions.