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The Importance Of Dental Care For Seniors After Natural Tooth Loss

The Importance Of Dental Care For Seniors After Natural Tooth Loss

As you age, you are more likely to experience oral health complications due to cavities, gum disease, developing health conditions, and medication side effects, and more at risk of losing your natural teeth. Even if you have lost some or all of your natural teeth, you can’t stop caring for your oral health. Dental care for seniors is a critical part of health care since it helps you to keep smiling, speaking, and eating comfortably. Dental care for seniors does even more than this though; it helps prevent developing health conditions in the mouth and throughout the body and improves quality of life.

Dental Care For Seniors

Dental Health
Any remaining natural teeth require the same attention to care that they always have. Dentists do everything in their power to help you preserve your natural teeth and optimize your tooth health. Dental cleanings for remaining teeth help to get rid of difficult-to-remove bacteria that can lead to cavities and oral disease and dental exams determine the health of your teeth and if you need interventions such as fillings, root canals, or even tooth removal if necessary.

Denture Maintenance
Many people with natural tooth loss can opt for dentures and maintaining denture comfort helps ensure proper denture wear and overall oral health. Senior dental care for people who wear dentures includes regular exams to ensure that your dentures fit and perform well, your mouth is not developing sore spots, that there isn’t excessive pressure on any remaining teeth (for those who wear partial dentures), and that jawbone health is doing well. Seniors who have experienced natural tooth loss can also opt for dental implants. To determine if you are a candidate for dental implant surgery, your dentist will assess your jaw and gum health.

Gum Health
Gum health is critical, even if you have lost some or all of your natural teeth. You are still susceptible to bacteria that lingers in your mouth every time you drink or eat (even more so with food and particles that can become trapped under your dentures). Because of this, you need to brush your gums with a soft-bristled toothbrush and have regular dental exams. If you skip these important steps, your gums can become infected, sensitive, or swollen, which will make it difficult to eat and drink while threatening your health in general. Recently studies have suggested a link between gum health and heart health. Although scientists aren’t yet certain if poor gum health contributes to poor heart health or if it’s the other way around, senior dental care should include taking care of your gum health as a precautionary measure.

General Health
Gum and tooth infections can spread and threaten your health. When a tooth infection spreads to the blood it can very quickly become dangerous. If you have a toothache and develop a fever, see your dentist immediately. Even one natural tooth that is not cared for can lead to a dangerous and painful tooth infection. But dentists are trained medical professionals that examine more than just your teeth and gums; they check your mouth, cheeks, lips, throat, tongue, and tonsils to make sure everything looks right. Your dentist is able to recognize if you are showing signs of oral cancer, strep throat, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease, to name only a few. By searching for signs and symptoms of general health issues, your dentist can help detect serious health conditions early so that you can take steps to stop or slow the progress of these diseases and illnesses. 

Calgary Dental Care For Seniors

Caring for your oral health is incredibly important whether you have a full set of teeth or none at all. Dental care for seniors is vital, as people will begin to experience the symptoms of oral health conditions that may have been formerly undiagnosed, and new dental health issues due to aging and new medications. Proper senior dental care allows for prolonged life of natural teeth, reduced pain and discomfort, and prevention of progressive existing health issues. At Marlborough Dental in NE Calgary, our dentists have over 20 years of experience working in family dentistry, including working with senior patients to help them achieve and maintain healthy teeth and gums. To book a comprehensive dental exam in Calgary, contact Marlborough Dental at 1-403-248-2066 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: How common are gum disease and cavities in seniors?
A: Approximately 96% of Canadians 65 or over have had a cavity in their life. Nearly 2 in every 3 Canadians age 65 or over have gum disease. To lower these statistics, more Canadian seniors need to take steps to care for their oral health and encourage others to do so.

Q: Do I need to get x-rays done every time I visit the dentist?
A: A healthy adult with good oral hygiene will not require an x-ray every appointment. If your dentist has cause for concern, you may be required to have an x-ray.

Q: What are healthy gums supposed to look like?
A: Your gums should be pink, firm, and free from pain. If you do not floss regularly, gums may bleed and swell. Flossing regularly will prevent gums from bleeding when flossing and will improve gum health.

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