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Hygiene for Older Adults

older woman brushing her teethAs you get older, your needs change. In addition to being at risk for experiencing certain health issues, you are also at a greater risk of experiencing oral health issues. While oral hygiene is crucial at every stage of life, it is especially important in your later years when you are at greater risk for serious issues, including tooth loss. At David Crumpton, DDS, we can help you to maintain your oral hygiene to keep your teeth, and your whole mouth, healthy.

Conditions that Can Affect Your Oral Health

As you age, certain oral health issues are more likely to occur than in your younger years. These issues can significantly increase your risk of major complications.
•  Dry mouth. Also called xerostomia, dry mouth can occur as a result of changes in your body. It can also occur as a side effect to certain types of medications you may be taking for a medical condition.
•  Dental attrition is a natural part of aging. It is simply the normal wear and tears on your teeth that causes the enamel to wear away. Attrition increases your risk of tooth damage as well as tooth decay.
•  Gum recession. Much like dental attrition, gum recession occurs naturally as you age. As your gums recede, more surface area of your teeth becomes exposed. You may even be faced with root exposure. Not only do your teeth appear longer, but you may also be at risk for tooth sensitivity and root decay.
•  Gum disease. As you get older, you are at a greater risk for gum disease, particularly if you have dental restorations or partial dentures. Health conditions like diabetes and lifestyle habits like smoking can also increase your risk. Untreated gum disease can lead to serious issues, including tooth loss.

Proper Oral Care at Home

Oral care starts at home. It is essential that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Use a fluoridated toothpaste to help remineralize your teeth and prevent the formation of tooth decay and cavities. After brushing and flossing, rinse with mouthwash to eliminate any bacteria that might still be lingering in your mouth.

In addition to brushing and flossing, it is also important that you maintain a healthy diet. Your body needs a wide variety of different vitamins and minerals to remain healthy. This includes your teeth and your gums. Foods good for your oral health include dairy, such as cheese and milk, dark, leafy greens, and hard, crunchy fruits and vegetables. A well-balanced diet will help you to maintain your oral health and your whole-body health.

Avoid Tobacco Products

Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain numerous chemicals and can be exceptionally harmful to your health, including your oral health. Tobacco products can increase plaque and bacterial growth on your teeth. They can cause discoloration of your natural teeth as well as any dental restorations. Tobacco products can also significantly increase your risk of developing oral cancer, a risk that also increases as you get older. Avoiding these products will help you to keep your mouth healthy.

Increase Your Hydration

Whether or not you suffer from dry mouth, drinking plenty of water is crucial. Water helps to wash away bacteria and debris in the mouth while also helping to maintain proper salivary flow. This, in turn, helps to prevent dry mouth.

The Importance of Routine Dental Visits

Your routine dental visits are just as important now as they were in your younger years. You should maintain regular dental visits every six months for cleanings and exams. Cleanings allow us to help remove all buildup from your teeth, preventing issues like cavities and gum disease. Exams allow us to spot issues in their early stages, which then enables prompt treatment to prevent more serious consequences.

If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health and hygiene as you get older, we can help. Call David Crumpton, DDS at 817-678-7395 today for more information.


301 Trophy Branch Dr., Suite 100, Trophy Club, TX 76262

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David Crumpton, DDS, serves families in Trophy Club, Roanoke, Keller, Southlake, Colleyville, Fort Worth, and across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

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