With old age comes wisdom, but also some special dental problems. If you’re the primary caregiver for an aging parent or loved one, you may stumble upon a few dental care concerns. It can be challenging to know exactly what dental problems to be on the lookout for, so Shadow Valley Dental Group has put together a quick guide for you. This blog will help you know what signs to watch for and how to provide dental care for seniors at home.
Regularly Monitor Dental Health
As people age, their bodies don’t function as well as they used to, and the same goes for the teeth. It’s critical for seniors to regularly see their dentist so that he or she can monitor overall dental health. Some of the most common dental problems among seniors include gum disease, tooth decay and loss, and dry mouth. In the meantime, you can help your parents maintain proper dental hygiene. If they have lost some dexterity due to arthritis, it may be beneficial to help them pick out an electric toothbrush and alternative flossing method, such as a Waterpik.
Treat Common Problems At-Home
Of the common dental problems among older adults, there are several that can be treated at-home. Here are a few tips on providing dental care for seniors at home.
- Dry mouth – Many older adults have decreased saliva production, which can lead to tooth decay and discomfort. Help your parent treat their dry mouth at home by ensuring frequent water consumption and encouraging him or her to avoid salty, dry foods and alcoholic and caffeinated beverages. Sucking on sugar-free candies can help increase saliva production as well as special mouth rinses developed specifically to treat dry mouth.
- Sleep Apnea – Approximately 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and a majority of these people are older adults. If your parent suffers from snoring, or often wakes up in the night trying to catch their breath, there’s a good chance they may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be very harmful to the body and the teeth, but can be easily treated at home with a CPAP machine or oral appliance.
- Tooth Loss – Many people experience tooth loss as a natural part of aging. If your parent experiences tooth loss, set up an appointment with the dentist to get him or her fitted for dentures. Dentures are easy fix for missing teeth and are simple to maintain at home. You could also consider getting dental implants to help support the dentures or individual crowns.
About Shadow Valley Dental Group
The experts at Shadow Valley Dental Group provide a wide range of dental services including cleanings, fillings, root canals, cosmetic procedures, gum disease treatment, and more. At Shadow Valley Dental Group you can expect to receive personalized, comprehensive care. If you’d like to learn more about how you can provide at-home dental care for seniors, or if you would like to set up an appointment for your aging parent, contact Shadow Valley today!
1574 Henthorne, Suite A
Maumee, OH 43537
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