Your oral health impacts your general health!

Research continues to show us that how we take care of our teeth and gums does affect our body. Oral bacterial build up can cause cavities and gum disease. Now we understand through mounting evidence, these same oral bacteria can contribute to many serious health conditions.

Oral bacteria are able to enter the blood stream or airways and travel to other parts of the body, thereby increasing the risk of developing or contributing to various health conditions.

Take care of your smile and it will take care of you!!

Seniors’ Oral Health Challenges and tips:

Xerostomia (drymouth): causing bactera to stick to the teeth and gums without the natural
washing effects and protective properties of saliva; usually making one very prone to decay – especially on the roots of the teeth. Products to help stimulate saliva flow or mimic saliva are available on the market such as Biotene, Oramoist, and Salese. The following link provides more information: http://oralcancerfoundation.org/dental/xerostomia.htm.

Manual dexterity difficulties (arthritis): makes homecare and more intricate hand
movements a definite challenge. Electric toothbrushes are often recommended in this instance because they are easy to hold and perform the necessary strokes for brushing for you.

Ill fitting dentures: resulting in poor nutrition. As we age, the gums and bones of our
mouth and face shrink and change shape. As a result, dentures no longer fit as they were originally designed and this can result in mouth sores. Dentures should be snug and
not move around when speaking or chewing, or rock from side to side or back to front. Dentures should also be removed overnight and placed into an antibacterial/antifungal soak . You may rinse them well in the morning and give them a good brush (WITHOUT TOOTHPASTE) before placing them back into your mouth. Without proper care, bacterial levels may cause some serious oral infections as well as these elevated oral bacterial levels may be aspirated, with the possibility of contributing to lung problems.

Please do not use toothpaste when cleaning your dentures as it will scratch them, allowing more bacteria to stick to them.

Recessed gumline exposing root structure: with age our bones which support our teeth
may shrink back which exposes the roots of our teeth. Unfortunately, these root surfaces are not protected by enamel and are more susceptible to decay. This coupled with other factors such as dry mouth, can result in quickly developing cavities which are difficult to restore. Often times a high fluoridated toothpaste or rinse may be recommended by your dental hygienist or dentist to help keep these root surfaces strong. Another result of root exposure is sensitivity. This may be reduced with a toothpaste or gel which is specifically formulated to help reduce this sensitivity. You may find many different products in your local pharmacy.

Gum disease for those who have battled periodontitis throughout their lives: as one
ages, this battle becomes more intense as the risk factors mount. Being diligent and
frequent with your homecare and professional care is paramount! On going studies show
links between gum disease and our overall health. You may read more facts from the
following link: http://www.odha.on.ca/PDFs/OverallHealth.pdf