oral health
Oral Health

Oral Health in Older Adults

One of the most important factors in healthy aging is good oral health. Having healthy teeth and a good mouth allows you to eat, speak, and socialize without difficulty.

Because of their age, older adults are more likely to develop dental diseases, and their health complications may make access to dental services more difficult. As a result, maintaining good oral health is critical, and this article will show you how. Let us investigate.

  1. Educate Older Adults About Risk Factors for Poor Oral Health
Advancing age puts many seniors at risk for several oral health problems, such as:
Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease refers to the infectious disease that damages your gum and can permanently destroy your jawbone. The most common risk factors for periodontal disease are smoking and poor oral hygiene. In the early stages of the disease, it’s called gingivitis, and it can make your gums swollen red which may further lead to bleeding. Some of the warning signs that you must notice for Periodontal disease are listed below:
  • Swollen Gums
  • Bleeding Gums
  • Loose and Sensitive teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Change the fit of your dentures
  • Change in the way your teeth react while eating food
  • Painful chewing
Tooth Decay
Tooth decay happens when plaque starts building on your teeth due to bacteria and harms your enamel, along with causing cavities in your mouth. Many people with tooth decay notice changes in their teeth’ color, and in some places, they can see a black spot. Tooth decay is caused in seniors due to poor dental hygiene and a dry mouth that is usually seen because of the side effects of some medicines. You should also remember that certain spots can be difficult to brush when you have overlapping teeth. You’ll require Adult Braces to correct the overlaps.
Heart Disease 
Gum disease usually causes inflammation, and that’s known to increase the risk for heart diseases. A study also proves that Gum Diseases can also make your heart condition worse, increasing the risk of a stroke.
Dry Mouth
Dry Mouth refers to the condition in which a person has a reduced saliva flow, and the glands in your body don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Dry mouth is usually caused by cancer treatments, diseases, and medication side effects in older adults.
Orofacial Pain
Orofacial Pain refers to the pain that is felt in your mouth, jaws and the face. When a person has orofacial pain, his ability to chew and eat food gets poorly affected. Such pain is usually caused due to trigeminal neuralgia, postherpetic neuralgia, headache, and arthritis.
Oral cancer
Older adults who smoke cigarettes and cigars, chew tobacco and consume alcohol are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Going for a regular dental checkup can help you to detect the problem in its early stages.
Oral Thrush 
Diseases and medications that affect your immune system result in the overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans in the mouth, and when that happens in the mouth, it leads to oral thrush in men.
  1. Encourage Elderly Dental Care


It is even more important as you get older to take care of your teeth and dental health. As a result, here’s a list of dos and don’ts for maintaining good oral health.


  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste every day.
  • If you have symptoms of dry mouth, try to see your dentist and chew xylitol-containing gum to increase your saliva production.
  • Regularly floss your teeth.
  • Visit your dentist for a dental cleaning. Make an appointment with your dentist at least twice a year.
  • If you suspect you have gum disease, consult your dentist about using a chlorhexidine-containing mouthwash.
  • If you have trouble brushing your teeth, use an electric toothbrush.


  • Don’t start smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Make certain that you have control over your alcohol consumption.
  • Request that your doctor recommends medications that do not reduce saliva production.
  • Consume no foods with a high sugar content, particularly candies.
  1. Dentist Might Ask Some Questions If you Are An Older Adult

 If you are an elder adult who is going for a dental exam, then your dentist might ask you the following questions:

  • Details about your last dental visit along with its reasons.
  • If you have noticed any pain or discomfort in your mouth.
  • If you have any sensitive or loose teeth
  • If you had difficulty eating some foods

Once your dentist knows the answers to these questions, he will examine your face, mouth, and jaw to check for problems. If you wear dentures, your dentist may also ask you about their overall fit to check if they require any work. Lastly, they will look for any irritation or discomfort problems that you have in your mouth.Conclusion:Elders need to get proper dental care, especially when they notice changes in their oral health, including bleeding, pain, loose teeth, or soft-tissue lesions that aren’t healed and are easily noticeable. It would be best to refer the patient to a dental specialist in situations like this. Routine dental monitoring may help reduce the incidence of many systemic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and pneumonia.

Author Bio:
Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.

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