Adults Over 60

With the rapid advancement in field of dentistry and medical research it is now virtually easy to have a completely healthy set of teeth even in the later stages of life.

Maintaining good oral health habits now is especially important because unhealthy bacteria in the mouth not only can harm your teeth and gums but may be associated with serious medical conditions. Research has shown that infections in the mouth may be associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia and other health problems that are common in older adults.

It really only takes a few simple steps, brushing and flossing daily, visiting your dentist regularly and eating nutritious foods to have Happy smile Healthy smile for Life.

Even for those elderly patients who are bedridden,they should discuss their oral hygiene care with their dentist,who can make appropriate arrangements for the patient for a home visit.

Adults Over 60

Adults Over 60

What you eat is who you are,and your teeth help you eat.Your teeth are as important as any other vital organ in your body.

Adults Over 60

The time to start taking care of your teeth is now .See your Dentist. Get a happy and healthy smile.

Healthy Habits

Brush and Floss Daily

Brushing and flossing your teeth is just as important for you as it is for your grandchildren. Even though it may have been years since you've had a cavity, your risk of cavities increases with age. One of the reasons is dry mouth—a common side effect of many prescription medications.

Healthy Habits

Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head to get to those hard to reach areas. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles becomes frayed. If you have arthritis or other condition that limits movement, try an electric toothbrush.

Healthy Habits

Clean between teeth daily with floss. If floss is too difficult to work with, try a floss pick or tiny brushes made specifically to clean between teeth.

Clean Dentures Daily
Healthy Habits

Bacteria stick to your teeth and also to full or partial dentures. If you wear dentures, remember to clean them on a daily basis with cleaners made specifically for dentures. Do not use toothpastes for natural teeth or household cleaners, which are too abrasive and can damage dentures that can be expensive to replace.

Take your dentures out of your mouth for at least four hours every 24 hours to keep the lining of your mouth healthy. It’s best to remove your full or partial dentures at night. Your dentist will provide you with instructions about how long your dentures should be worn each day.

Visit a Dentist Regularly
Healthy Habits

The IDA recommends that you get regular dental checkups at least once a year . Please do not wait until you have pain. As you age, the nerves inside your teeth become smaller and less sensitive. By the time you feel pain from a cavity, it may be too late and you may lose your tooth. There are also more serious conditions that your dentist will look for, like oral cancer and gum disease, which do not always cause pain until the advanced stages of the disease. By then, it’s more difficult and costly to treat.

When you go to your dentist for a check-up bring the following information:

  • List of medications you are currently taking including vitamins, herbal remedies, and over- the-counter medications
  • List of medical conditions and allergies
  • Information and phone numbers of all health care providers, doctors, and your previous dentist
  • Information about your emergency contacts, someone who can help make decisions on your behalf in the case of a medical emergency
  • Dental insurance or Medicaid cards
  • Your dentures or partials, even if you don’t wear them

Be sure to talk with your dentist about how to properly secure and dispose of any unused, unwanted or expired medications, especially if there are any children in the household.

Concern for Adults Over 60

Prevention of mouth dryness

Aging,certain medical conditions,and medications may cause dry mouth.

Your dentist can make recommendations to help relieve your dry mouth symptoms and prevent cavities.

Here are some common recommendations:

Use over-the-counter oral moisturizers, such as a spray or mouthwash.

Prevention of Mouth Dryness

Consult with your physician on whether to change the medication or dosage.

Drink more water. Carry a water bottle with you, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Your mouth needs constant lubrication.

Prevention of Mouth Dryness

Use sugar-free gum or lozenges to stimulate saliva production.

Prevention of Mouth Dryness

Get a humidifier to help keep moisture in the air.

Avoid foods and beverages that irritate dry mouths, like coffee, alcohol, carbonated soft drinks, and acidic fruit juices.

Prevention of Mouth Dryness

Prevention of Mouth Dryness

Your dentist may apply a fluoride gel or varnish to protect your teeth from cavities.

The IDA recommends that you see your dentist for a happy and healthy smile.

Antibiotics

A lot of geriatric patients are already on a lot of prescription drugs due to various health issues .Before a dental procedure taking an additional antibiotic may hence seem cumbersome and avoidable to them.Also reaction of antibiotics with other medications could be a reason for concern for the elderly.

Antibiotics

What is important to note is that an antibiotic is very necessary before certain dental procedures especially when there are certain conditions like diabetes,heart ailments,bone problems etc. You may think it’s not relevant. After all, what do your heart and joints have to do with your teeth? But, there are conditions with a high risk of infection and an antibiotic is recommended prior to some dental procedures.

The IDA recommends you to please update your dentist with all your medical conditions along with the prescribed drugs to save yourself further complications.

Osteoporosis and jaw bone

In the case of antiresorptive agents—medicines that help strengthen bones—these medications have been associated with a rare but serious condition called osteonecrosis that can cause severe damage to the jawbone.

Osteoporosis and Jaw Bone

Some antiresorptive agents, such as Fosamax, Actonel, Atelvia, Didronel and Boniva, are taken orally to help prevent or treat osteoporosis (thinning of bone) and Paget's disease of the bone, a disorder that involves abnormal bone destruction and regrowth, which can result in deformity. Others antiresorptive agents, such as Boniva IV, Reclast or Prolia, are administered by injection. Higher and more frequent dosing of these agents is given as part of cancer therapy to reduce bone pain and hypercalcemia of malignancy (abnormally high calcium levels in the blood) associated with metastatic breast cancer, prostate cancer and multiple myeloma.

Osteoporosis and Jaw Bone

While osteonecrosis of the jaw can occur spontaneously, it more commonly occurs after dental procedures that affect the bone or associated tissues (for example, pulling a tooth).

The IDA recommends that you should tell your dentist if you are taking antiresorptive agents so he or she can take that into account when developing your treatment plan. Eat a diet rich in calcium, even if you are taking medication, and ask your doctor whether or not you should take calcium and vitamin D supplements.

Osteoporosis and Jaw Bone
Osteoporosis and Jaw Bone

Gum Disease

Gum Disease

Many older adults have gum, or periodontal disease, caused by the bacteria in plaque, which irritate the gums, making them swollen, red and more likely to bleed. One reason gum disease is so widespread among adults is that it’s often a painless condition until the advanced stage. If left untreated, gums pull away from the teeth and form deepened spaces called pockets where food particles and more plaque may collect. Advanced gum disease can eventually destroy the gums, bone and ligaments supporting the teeth leading to tooth loss.

The good news is that with regular dental visits gum disease can be treated or prevented entirely.

Gum Disease

Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. Chronic periodontitis can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. This is the most common form of periodontitis in adults but can occur at any age. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.

Research between systemic diseases and periodontal diseases is ongoing. While a link is not conclusive, some studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions such as diabetes or stroke.

Gum Disease

The IDA recommends that you visit your dentist every six months for a routine checkup and cleaning .Brush your teeth twice a day.Use interdental brush to clean the proximal areas of teeth if gaps are wide or floss your teeth.Use a mouthwash.

Your dentist can help you get a happy and healthy smile.

Oral Cancer

There are about 35,000 cases of mouth, throat and tongue cancer diagnosed each year. The average age of most people diagnosed with these cancers is 62. During dental visits, your dentist will check for any signs of oral cancer.

The IDA recommends that regular dental visits are important because in the early stages oral cancer typically does not cause pain and early detection saves lives. Some symptoms you may see include open sores, white or reddish patches, and changes in the lips, tongue and lining of the mouth that lasts for more than two weeks.

Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer

If you have habits like smoking,tobacco chewing,etc which increase the chances of getting oral cancer,its time to give up those habits.

If you have a denture or sharp tooth edge constantly hurting your tongue,lips or cheeks,have it attended to by your dentist .Chronic injury can predispose to oral carcinoma.

Do not take your health for granted.
Consult your dentist for a happy and healthy smile.

Pacemakers

Pacemakers are also used to treat the following:

Pacemakers are used most commonly to treat bradyarrythmias, which are slow heart rhythms that may arise from disease in the heart's electrical conduction system (such as the SA node, AV node, or HIS- Purkinje system).

Heart failure. This device is called cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) or biventricular pacing.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Syncope (fainting spells).

Chest x-ray showing a pacemaker

PaceMakers

Implantable cardiac devices, such as pacemakers or implantable defibrillators, use electrical impulses to help the heart maintain its proper rhythm.

Some of the ultrasonic tools your dentist uses, such as certain ultrasonic scalers or instrument cleaning systems, have the potential to interfere with these cardiac devices and could result in an irregular heartbeat.

The IDA recommends that it is important that you keep your dentist up to date about your general health, including medicines or treatments you are receiving. In this case, he or she may want to avoid using certain ultrasonic devices as part of your care.

Having a pace maker or defibrillator is no reason one must avoid dental treatment.Just modifying your treatment to suit your specific needs is all that is needed.In fact now,more than ever you must take care of oral hygiene,as several studies have linked poor oral hygiene with risks of getting strokes.

Sjögrens syndrome

Sjögren’s (pronounced SHOW-grins) syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own moisture- producing glands, the tear- secreting and salivary glands as well as other organs.

Symptoms include:
Sjögrens Syndrome
  • Dry eyes and dry mouth
  • Dysfunction of other organs such as the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the central nervous system
    Sjögrens Syndrome
  • Extreme fatigue and joint pain.

Nine out of 10 patients diagnosed with the disorder are women.The cause of Sjögren’s syndrome is unknown. It is one of the most common autoimmune disorders. Due to the decreased flow of saliva, Sjögren’s can pose a serious threat to your oral health.

The IDA recommends that if you suffer from dry mouth, it is important to be proactive and discuss your treatment options with your dentist or physician.

Thrush

Thrush (also called Candidiasis or moniliasis) is a fungal infection that occurs when the yeast Candida albicans reproduce in large numbers. It is common among denture wearers. Most often it occurs in people with weak immune systems—the very young, elderly or those debilitated by disease, such as diabetes or leukemia. In addition, people with dry mouth syndrome are susceptible to candidiasis. Candida may also flourish after antibiotic treatment, which can decrease normal bacteria in the mouth.

Thrush

Thrush

Controlling candidiasis means focusing on preventing or controlling the condition that causes the outbreak.

Good oral hygiene is essential.

The IDA recommends that you remove your dentures and clean them at bedtime. Rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash is healthy habit.

See your dentist for further information and gift yourself a happy and healthy smile.

Caretakers for elderly

CaretakersforElderly

You may have a parent, spouse or friend who has difficulty maintaining a healthy mouth on their own. How can you help? Two things are critical:

CaretakersforElderly

CaretakersforElderly

CaretakersforElderly

Help them keep their mouth clean with reminders to brush and floss daily.

CaretakersforElderly

Make sure they get to a dentist regularly.

If they are bedridden,discuss their condition with the dentist and arrange for appropriate treatment at home or in a hospital.

These steps can prevent many problems, but tasks that once seemed so simple can become very challenging. If your loved one is having difficulty with brushing and flossing, talk to a dentist or hygienist who can provide helpful tips or a different approach. There are dentists who specialize in caring for the elderly and disabled. For those who wear dentures, pay close attention to their eating habits. If they’re having difficulty eating or are not eating as much as usual, denture problems could be the cause.

When you’re caring for someone who is confined to bed, they may have so many health problems that it’s easy to forget about oral health. However, it’s still very important because bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs and cause pneumonia.

The IDA recommends that you pay special attention to their oral hygiene.

Halitosis / Bad breadth

What causes bad breath?
Halitosis/Bad Breadth

Food. What you eat affects the air you exhale, like garlic or onions. If you don't brush and floss daily, particles of food can remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Dieters may develop unpleasant breath from infrequent eating.

Halitosis/Bad Breadth

Gum disease. Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth can also be one of the warning signs of gum disease; which is caused by plaque.

Halitosis/Bad Breadth

Dry mouth. This occurs when the flow of saliva decreases and can be caused by various medications, salivary gland problems or continuously breathing through the mouth. Without enough saliva, food particles are not cleaned away. If you suffer from dry mouth, your dentist may prescribe an artificial saliva, or suggest using sugarless candy or increase your fluid intake.

Halitosis/Bad Breadth

Smoking and tobacco. In addition to staining teeth and being bad for overall health, tobacco can add to bad breath. Tobacco reduces your ability to taste foods and irritates gum tissues. Tobacco users are more likely to suffer from gum disease and are at greater risk for developing oral cancer. If you use tobacco, ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.

Halitosis/Bad Breadth

Medical conditions. Some diseases have symptoms related to bad breath. Sinus or lung infections, bronchitis, diabetes, and some liver or kidney diseases may be associated with bad breath.

Maintaining good oral hygiene, eliminating gum disease and scheduling regular professional cleanings are essential to reducing bad breath.

The IDA recommends that you brush twice a day and clean between your teeth daily with floss. Brush your tongue, too. If you wear dentures, be sure to remove them at night and clean them thoroughly before replacing them the next morning.

It’s important to note that mouthwash will only mask the odor temporarily. Mouthwashes do not have a long-lasting effect on bad breath. If you must constantly use a breath freshener to hide unpleasant mouth odor, see your dentist without further delay.