Misconceptions about Oral Health for Seniors
You might think that losing your teeth and wearing dentures are a normal part of aging. When you’re pushing 70, you’d expect that you’ll not be keeping most of your teeth anymore. You will find it harder to brush and floss, your gums may hurt or find your ridges shrinking. Seniors should know that if they maintain good oral hygiene and get regular dental care, they can still keep most of their teeth, have healthy gums, and smile with confidence.
Find here certain misconceptions that most seniors believe and which become barriers to their attaining the best of dental care for themselves. Recommendations are also offered for their benefit.
It’s wrong to think that losing teeth comes naturally with age. Today, you don’t find too many elderly Americans who have become edentulous, meaning those who have lost almost all their natural teeth. Awareness has enabled many to still keep their dentition because they are lowering their risk for cavities by taking care of their teeth. Prevention is also responsible for many to keep gum disease at bay.
Painful teeth, gums and arches are not a natural accompaniment to aging. A 75 year old perceives dental pain differently than a 45 year old. Pain perception changes with age and the elderly might put off needed care. The senior may not realize that pain is a sign of an underlying problem. They might wait until such time that it debilitates them and that could lead to tooth loss and costly reconstructive work.
Seniors may think that teeth softens with age. It’s not true. It might be that the patient’s jaw bone has become brittle with age, there is some degree of bone loss in the jaw supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease may be progressing and with diseased gum tissue, teeth can break up because of decay.
The elderly and their caregivers are reluctant to brush teeth when bleeding occurs. When gums bleed, it’s a sign of infection resulting from poor oral hygiene. It’s going to bleed at the start, but cleaning must not stop. Gentle brushing must continue and the bleeding will soon stop. Gums can be healthy again.
It’s not true that missing teeth and faulty dentures make seniors eat less. One can always choose softer and nutritious foods and have their dentures corrected, or opt for implants for more secure dentition.
Busting Senior Dental Myths in Downtown Seattle
If seniors get regular dental care, they would know what’s true and what’s not. That is what we offer our elderly patients who come to consult with us in Downtown Seattle.