Dental surgeon Kshama Chandan explains why senior dental healthcare is essential
As we age there are some things that we tend to let fall by the wayside. Dental health is one amongst the many that tend to be forgotten. Seniors are more likely to suffer from a host of oral health issues resulting from the natural aging process due to their inability to provide adequate dental hygiene care for themselves. Since dental health is connected to the overall health, it’s important that senior loved ones have someone to remind or help them keep their oral health a priority.
Mumbai-based cosmetic surgeon Dr Kshama Chandan states it’s important to treat this age group with adequate understanding about their physical, social and psychological issues. She is of the opinion that a dentist must be aware of the patient’s prescribed medications as well as the drug regimen of the patient before coming up with a treatment plan.
When asked why most of the senior citizens face difficulty in maintaining oral hygiene, the dentist said, “It is because of the loss of dexterity, especially in the hands due to several age-related issues. It becomes difficult for them to even grasp a toothbrush for some due to which their oral health suffers.”
Age doesn’t always negatively affect oral health on its own. Certain medical conditions, such as arthritis in the hands and fingers may make brushing or flossing teeth difficult to perform. At the same time, many are also genetically predisposed to dental problems or simply forget to brush while suffering from cognitive health disorders.
Moreover, a poor vision of senior citizens can also become a problem in maintaining proper oral hygiene. Patients avoid cleaning what they can’t see which furthermore deteriorates the condition of the teeth. Some of the most common oral health problems senior citizens face are reduced saliva flow, dry mouth, root decay, gum disease, tooth loss, diminished sense of taste, oral thrush, denture-induced stomatitis and plaque accumulation in the teeth.
All of these reasons make senior dental care a priority, which is why the elderly needs to follow certain guidelines to keep their teeth and gums healthy:
* Brushing twice a day with a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoride-containing toothpaste.* Using an electric toothbrush.* Cleaning between the teeth once a day with floss or any other interdental cleaner.* Rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day.* If full or partial dentures are being used, clean them on a daily basis. (Take the dentures out of your mouth for at least four hours every day, and know that it’s best to remove them at night keeping them soaked in water.)* Quit smoking – Besides the risk for lung cancers and other medical hazards, smoking can cause gum diseases, tooth decay, tooth mobility and eventually tooth loss.* Visit the dentist on a regular basis for a complete dental check-up, cleaning and oral examination.* Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes dairy and high-fibre products.
With deep knowledge and skills, Dr Kshama Chandan is spreading smiles by giving the best of dental treatments at The DentalWorx in Mumbai. With a Masters In Advanced Prosthodontics, and running a private practice, Dr Chandan is very active on Instagram and shares dental insights on a daily basis. Head to her Instagram page, ‘@kshama3091’ for more information and other dental related queries.