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Gum Health for Seniors

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Gum health is extremely important, especially as we become Seniors. As we age, our mouths can become drier, making it harder to prevent cavities and mouth bacteria. Chronic conditions, such as arthritis, can make it difficult to brush and floss in the correct manner, leading to gum disease and a myriad of other related health issues. Periodontitis (severe gum disease) can cause illnesses like Type 2 Diabetes, anemia, and heart disease. Gum health and gum disease treatment are crucial to seniors to be able to stay happy and healthy in their golden years.

Gum health tips for Seniors

Most importantly, keep your whole body healthy. Eat well, get enough rest, and exercise to the best of your ability. As tobacco is a leading cause of gum disease, quit smoking. Your family doctor can help you with a smoking cessation program.

Brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes, with a soft bristled toothbrush, which will protect your gums and tooth enamel. If gripping a toothbrush is an issue, there are large handled brushes available, or for a quick fix, slide a foam tube over the handle. There are also electric toothbrushes with timers and pressure sensors.

Floss your teeth once a day, making sure to slide the floss between both sides of your teeth in a ā€œCā€ shape. If wrapping or pinching floss around your fingers is unmanageable, hand-held flossers are a great option as well as electric water flossers.

Use a gentle mouthwash after you brush your teeth. Mouthwash coats the entire mouth area and can help control the bacterium that causes plaque, gingivitis, and tooth decay.

If you wear dentures, be sure to take them out for at least a few hours each day, but overnight is best. Brush your dentures daily and clean the inside of your mouth with a soft brush or cloth.

Visit your dentist at least twice per year. Dental checkups will keep your gums and teeth at their best. Seeing a dentist regularly along with professional teeth cleaning can prevent many issues before they become serious problems.

Early warning signs of gum disease are red, swollen gums, bleeding gums, bad breath, receding gums and sensitive or loose teeth. This is called gingivitis, and if left untreated, can lead to periodontal (gum) disease, which will require gum disease treatment by a Periodontist. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues around your teeth. There are many gum disease treatment options available. Less serious cases can be helped with a course of antibiotics and a thorough cleaning of the pockets around the teeth. Other options include dental scaling and root planing,periodontal regeneration and periodontal grafts.

Discuss your options today with a qualified Periodontist.