oral care important for seniors

Proper Oral Care is especially Important for Seniors

oral care important for seniorsServing areas of Okemos, Lansing, and East Lansing, MI

Our population is getting older, and the number of retirees is growing exponentially. According to a Yahoo! article published in late 2018, 10,000 Americans were retiring from the workforce every day. That number, based on U.S. Census estimates, was expected to increase to 12,000 new retirees each day within the next decade. Whether you are retired in Okemos or planning to retire in Lansing, you worked hard to prepare for your golden years, but health issues can make it difficult to enjoy your retirement. Good oral health is a cornerstone of good overall health, so your family dentist at Tenaglia Smiles wants to make sure you are prepared with this list of tips to maintain dental health throughout your retirement.

Watch out for dry mouth: A side effect of certain medications, or as a result of getting older, dry mouth can be bothersome and uncomfortable. But, it also could be wrecking your oral health. Saliva plays an important role in protecting your oral health. Saliva is a natural method your mouth uses to keep bacteria or food particles from accumulating on or between your teeth, where they can form potential areas of decay. Saliva production is one of the natural effects of aging, and as your saliva flow diminishes, you face an increased risk of cavities, gum disease, or even an infected tooth. Lifestyle changes can help your saliva production, such as drinking lots of water and chewing sugar-free gum.

Oral cancer: Did you know that oral cancer, on average, will claim the life of one American each hour of each day this year? That adds up to almost 10,000 deaths, according to data compiled by the Oral Cancer Foundation. The morbidity rate of oral cancers is so high because, unfortunately, it often is not detected until it has advanced past the lymph nodes. You can protect yourself by making sure that you undergo regular screenings for oral cancer in Okemos. Dr. Christine Tenaglia can conduct one of these screenings during each routine dental check-up.

Gum disease: One of the most widespread chronic diseases in all of America, gum disease runs rampant among the elderly population. Citing U.S. Census estimates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that two of every three adults over the age of 65 have gum disease—a bacterial infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, and increase the risk of developing other chronic ailments such as heart disease and diabetes. Your best defense against gum disease is prevention. Stop using tobacco in any form, try to maintain a healthy diet, and keep up a rigorous regimen of dental hygiene that includes daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental check-ups.

Preventive Dental Care in Okemos

Tenaglia Smiles is a family dental practice, which means that Dr. Tenaglia and her staff have the training and compassion to work with patients of any age, ranging from young infants to senior citizens. In addition to providing dental cleanings and check-ups that include oral cancer screenings, we also offer preventive care, cosmetic dentistry, and can treat sleep apnea as well as temporomandibular joint disorder. To find out more, or schedule a tour of our boutique-style office in Okemos, give us a call at (517) 347-6733 if you live in Okemos, Lansing, and East Lansing in Michigan.

Scroll to Top