Health concerns at old age

You may wonder why you’re suddenly getting cavities, gum, or periodontal disease,tooth decay,dry mouth,when you haven’t had them in years.As we all grow older, importance of oral health for seniors is a big concern. Advancing age puts many seniors at risk for a number of oral health problems, such as:

Gum disease

This potentially serious condition occurs when the gum tissues surrounding teeth become infected because of a buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is recognizable by swollen, red or bleeding gums. Gum disease is a concern for older adults for a number of reasons, including plaque building up on teeth and gums from not developing proper oral health care habits earlier in life.

Tooth or root decay

Even at 55-plus years, adults can still develop tooth or root decay if gum recession has occurred. It is important for older adults to effectively clean the gums, the teeth and exposed root surfaces to remove dental plaque and food debris.

Sensitive teeth

At some point, we’ve all tossed back a nice, cold glass of water only to grimace at that sharp, tingling sensation in our teeth. A number of factors cause tooth sensitivity, including brushing too aggressively with a hard-bristled toothbrush, worn tooth enamel, and a cracked or fractured tooth.

Gum Disease

Many older adults have gum, or periodontal disease, caused by the bacteria in plaque, which irritate the gums, making them swollen, red and more likely to bleed. One reason gum disease is so widespread among adults is that it’s often a painless condition until the advanced stage. If left untreated, gums can begin to pull away from the teeth and form deepened spaces called pockets where food particles and more plaque may collect. Advanced gum disease can eventually destroy the gums, bone and ligaments supporting the teeth leading to tooth loss. The good news is that with regular dental visits gum disease can be treated or prevented entirely.

Prevention and Protection

  • Thoroughly remove plaque from your teeth (and dentures if you have them) last thing at night and at least one other time during the day.

  • Use a fluoride toothpaste containing 1350 to 1500ppm (parts per million) of fluoride. There are many special toothpastes on the market, including tartar control and total care toothpastes. Consult your dentist.

  • Clean in between your teeth at least once a day using interdental brushes or dental floss.Flossing can be done twice a day and is must in old age.

  • Use small-headed, soft- to medium-textured toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste.To help clean between your teeth you could use an ‘interdental brush', floss or tape. If you have arthritis you may find it difficult to grip a toothbrush handle, but you can get handle adapters.
    Electric or ‘power' toothbrushes are also ideal for people with limited movement. The handles are thicker and easier to hold and the oscillating head does most of the work

Improve the way you brush with real-time feedback

Try Colgate’s first app-enabled electronic toothbrush with artificial intelligence. Available on Apple.com, in select Apple stores and directly through Colgate.

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