Monday - Friday
8am - 5pm

Dental Health Tips for Senior Citizens

senior dental care cary nc
Creative commons image by Ian MacKenzie

As you age, some of your health concerns will change. For example, certain diseases are more common in the later years of life. You may need to see your doctor more frequently or take medications for health conditions. This is similar to what happens to your dental health as you age. With good dental care and hygiene, it’s possible to keep most or all of your teeth for a lifetime! Here are some dental health tips for senior citizens.

Tell your dentist about any  health conditions you have.

If you have diabetes, heart problems, or other types of medical conditions, it’s important to let your dentist know. Certain medical problems can lead to dental health problems; similarly, sometimes dental health concerns can exacerbate other types of conditions. For example, if you are diabetic, you may be more prone to dental infections, and those dental infections can spread easily if they are not treated promptly.

Each time you go to the dentist, bring along a list of new health conditions and the names of any prescription medications you are taking. This will help your dentist provide the best care possible, and it will ensure that you aren’t prescribed something that could interact with a medication that you’re already taking.

Watch for the symptom of dry mouth.

Many seniors find that they have less saliva than they used to. Your mouth might feel dry, and you may have trouble chewing and swallowing your food as easily as you once did. While this is a common concern, it can cause problems such as halitosis, gum disease and even tooth decay.

One common reason for a dry mouth, aside from the regular aging process, is that sometimes medications list this as a side effect. If you notice a dry mouth, talk to your doctor or dentist about the medications you’re taking. In some cases, you might be able to switch to something else. (Never stop taking medication or switch without the advice of your doctor.) In other cases, comfort measures such as prescription mouthwashes, sucking on sugar-free candies, or sipping water frequently might help.

See the dentist promptly if you have any dental problems.

If you notice bleeding gums, loose teeth, a loose filling, or any other type of dental issue, it’s important to get in to see the dentist promptly, rather than waiting for your next appointment. This is because these types of conditions can worsen quickly, particularly in those who are senior citizens. Also contact your dentist if you are having trouble brushing or flossing; there are products available to make these tasks easier if your dexterity is not what it used to be due to arthritis.

Please give our office a call to schedule an appointment if you have any questions or concerns, or if you are due for a cleaning.

Call 919.388.3111 to make an appointment or

contact us