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Teeth and Gum Health Tips for Seniors

By Kevin McClarren, 9:00 am on

Almost 50 percent of Americans over the age of 65 have lost at least six teeth due to tooth decay or gum disease. Unhealthy teeth and gums can also lead to other complications like increased risk of dementia, respiratory infections, and coronary artery disease. The staff at Home Care Assistance in Warren thinks oral hygiene is an important facet of senior care, and here are a few tips to help your elderly loved one keep the healthiest teeth and gums possible.

Look for Unhealthy WarningSigns

 Knowing the signs of unhealthy teeth and gums can help determine if your loved one needs dental care to reduce pain or help prevent further oral damage. Some of the most common signs to watch for include:

• Tooth sensitivity
• Mouth sores
• Loose teeth
• Jaw popping
• Pain
• Teeth Grinding
• Swelling
• Difficulty swallowing, chewing, and quenching thirst

Clean Teeth with a Washcloth or Gauze

If your loved one has arthritis, his or her dexterity may be limited, making it difficult to use a toothbrush or floss. Using a washcloth or gauze as an alternative can help with rinsing and removing debris on a regular basis.

Eat Naturally Cleansing Foods

There are foods you can offer seniors to help cleanse their teeth. Be sure your loved one is able to chew these foods and that the items are on his or her pre-approved diet plan. Celery can help protect teeth by producing saliva and neutralizing acids that lead to cavities, and carrots can help clean gums because of the increased chewing it takes to break the food down.

Use Tooth Cleaning Products

Some seniors with diseases such as Alzheimer’s may need to use tooth-cleaning products to assist with caring for their teeth and gums. Toothettes makes oral swabs that can be dipped into theirPerox-a-Mint solution, which can then be applied to your loved one’s teeth to gently remove debris. Rinsing is not required with this product, and there are no adverse effects if accidentally swallowed.

A healthy smile not only represents your loved one’s joyful soul, but proper dental maintenance can help protect him or her from other health issues that may otherwise arise. If your loved one needs assistance maintaining a grooming routine or shopping for nutritious, tooth-friendly foods, considerhourly care in Warren, NJ from Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to help meet your loved one’s needs. For more information, call a Care Manager at 908.450.9400 to schedule a free in-home consultation.