It used to be assumed that, as we age, we were supposed to lose all of our natural teeth. Fortunately we now know that does not have to be the case. With proper senior dental care, you can keep your smile beautiful and healthy, from age 60 and beyond. Our dental office is located in Parma Heights, Ohio, in Cuyahoga County near Cleveland. We would love to meet you!
The Importance of Good Senior Dental Care
Keeping your mouth healthy is especially important if you are aged 60 or older, as unhealthy bacteria in your mouth can not only harm your teeth and gums, but can also harm your overall health. Recent studies have shown a connection between the chronic inflammation that comes with oral diseases and an increased risk in developing serious diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pneumonia.
For more info, check out this article by Dr. Wolnik: Popular Procedures for Dental Problems in Older Adults
Healthy Dental Habits for Seniors
Healthy oral care habits during older adulthood is very similar to oral health care during our younger years. Tips for keeping your mouth in great shape include:
- Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss between teeth once a day
- Clean dentures daily with a cleanser made specifically for dentures
- Visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups
Special Senior Dental Care Concerns
As we age, we are more likely to encounter special issues pertaining to our oral health. Some of the most common dental concerns in patients age 60 and up are:
Medications: Many older adults find themselves with an increase in cavities after age 60. Although one common cause of cavities in older adults is dry mouth, the primary cause of the cavity increase is medication side effects. Some of the main cavity-causing prescriptions include medications for allergies and asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pain, and anxiety or depression, all of which are common concerns in older adults. If you are experiencing dental problems as a side effect of one of your medications, consult with your dentist.
Senior Dental Myth: Dry Mouth is Normal (It’s Not)
Gum Disease: Also quite common in older adulthood is gum, or periodontal disease, caused by the bacteria in plaque. This bacteria irritates the gums, making them swollen, red, and more likely to bleed. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to the destruction of the gums and tooth loss. Fortunately, periodontal disease is easy prevented and corrected by thorough dental cleanings. If you are experiencing any tenderness or bleeding of the gums, contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule a cleaning and exam.
Mouth Cancer: According to the American Cancer Society, about 35,000 cases of mouth, throat, and tongue cancer are diagnosed each year, most in adults age 62 or older. Regular visits to your dentist so that he or she can check for any signs of oral cancer are vital, as early detection can save your life. Early stage oral cancer often does not cause any pain, so be on the lookout for any open sores, white or reddish patches, or changes in the lips, tongue, or lining of the mouth that lasts for more than two weeks. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your dentist or physician immediately.
Paying for Dental Care after Retirement: Did you know that Medicare does not cover routine dental care? It is important that you begin to plan for dental expenses before retirement so that your dental health does not suffer when you’re on a fixed income. Organizations like AARP and certain discount dental plans can help you cover the cost of your dental care. Your dentist might also offer no interest or low financing plans that are easier on you than credit card payments. Talk to your dentist about finding the solution that works best for you.
Senior Dental Care in Parma Heights, Ohio
Are you age 60+ and have a question for Dr. Kennth J. Wolnik about your oral health? We offer senior dental care in Cuyahoga County,
Please contact Dr. Kennth J. Wolnik online or at:
Address 6363 York Rd, Ste 202 Parma Heights, OH 44130
Phone (440) 888-5055
Office Hours Monday: 7:00am – 4:00pm Tuesday: 8:00am – 5:00pm Thursday: 8:00am – 6:00pm Friday: 7:30am – 1:00pm