Maintaining a Beautiful Smile: Tips For Seniors

If you’re a senior and think your days of having a beautiful smile are over, think again. At Arbutus North Dental Centre in Kitsilano, our dental team would be happy to address dentistry and maintaining beautiful smiles for seniors.

Age is something you can be proud of. With age comes wisdom, and because of progress in medical science and from good self-care, people have longer lives, which is way maintaining teeth is so important.

How to Keep Smiles for Life

Maintaining your original teeth is not just a dental problem, but extends to overall health. A key component in good nutrition is your mouth, and the foods we are able to eat relies on how well we can bite and chew. If we can’t bite nutritious foods like vegetables and meat, your nutritional health can be compromised.

Common Problems Experienced

Tooth Decay – This is generally an issue for seniors who did not have fluoridated water/supplements when they were younger. As a result, these patients have had various dental work done which can lead to tooth breakdown and decay.

Root Decay – The American Dental Association says that most people over 50 have experienced root decay and that this decay will be present in adults whose severely receded gums have revealed the surfaces of the teeth. This surface located in the roots is gentler than enamel, which results in root decay forming quickly and easier. By brushing and flossing on a regular basis, root decay and tooth decay can be avoided.

Gum disease – Tooth loss in adults is most commonly caused by gum disease. Because severity of this disease gets worse with age, seniors are at more of a risk of developing it. Gum disease forms when plaque – a grimy form of bacteria – develops on your teeth when you’re not brushing. When we get older, plaque can build-up very quickly and in large quantities. If not eliminated, it will harden into tartar or calculus, which can swell gums and have them pull away from teeth. If untreated, bone around the teeth may recede which can result in loose teeth. Warning signs include gums that are irritated or swollen or halitosis (bad breath).

Dry Mouth –  Dry mouth may develop from taking medications such as antihistamines, pain killers and decongestants. Dry mouth limits the flow in saliva which can increase cavities. Saliva plays an essential role in cleansing out food particles and neutralizing acids, and dry mouth is dangerous when it comes to recurrent tooth decay. The dental team at Arbutus North Dental Centre can talk to you about increasing saliva flow and sugar-free candy and oral rinses that may work for you.

Regular checkups at our dental office is a good way to address your problems early on so we can find the right solution for you. Call and make an appointment today so you can have a beautiful smile.