Monthly Archives: July 2016

Aging & Dental Needs

As we age, issues that affect our mouth can increase or worsen. So, it’s especially important to be aware of conditions associated with aging that can impact oral health. The mouth is a window to the rest of the body. That’s why maintaining good oral health is one of the smartest things you can do for your body. 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. And since basic Medicare does not include coverage for dental care, it’s even more important to have a plan to protect your oral health. Oral disease greatly reduces a person’s quality of life. It is linked to other serious diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In addition, oral disease leads to tooth and bone loss, making it difficult to eat a well-balanced diet, which is especially important as we age. Such as Gum disease is an infection that makes it harder to manage diabetes. If you have diabetes you are twice as likely to develop gum disease, and gum disease makes it harder to control blood sugar. Some diabetes medications and other many prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause dry mouth, a condition that can make it hard to eat, taste, swallow, or even talk. Dry mouth can quickly lead to tooth decay, especially at the gum line. Be sure to tell your dentist or physician if you have dry mouth. If you’ve lost any teeth, it’s a good idea to replace them. A full set of teeth will help you chew delicious and nutritious foods like meats, beans, fruits, grains, and vegetables. Ill-fitting dentures can lead to diets of soft food that are low in nutrients and don’t help your mouth stay clean. You can help prevent tooth decay by making smart and healthy food choices. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins like turkey, chicken and fish. Limit processed foods and beverages that are high in sugar – they can lead to tooth decay and obesity. Calcium is especially important as we get older to prevent bone loss or osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can happen in the jaw bone and when it does, may lead to your teeth becoming loose or falling out. In a recent study, people who got their calcium almost exclusively from supplements were more than twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with those who took no supplements. The recommended daily amount of calcium for most adults is 1,000 milligrams a day, preferably from foods including low-fat dairy such as milk, cheese and yogurt.
Dentures are removable appliances that can replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. If you’ve lost all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. That’s because dentures make it easier to eat and speak better than you could without teeth—things that people often take for granted. Even if you wear full dentures, you still have to practice good dental hygiene. Brush your gums, tongue and roof of your mouth every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.
When cleaning your denture, it’s a good idea to stand over a folded towel or a sink of water just in case you accidentally drop the denture. Brush the denture each day to remove food deposits and plaque. Brushing helps prevent the appliance from becoming permanently stained. A denture could lose its proper shape if it is not kept moist. At night, the denture should be placed in soaking solution or water. However, if the appliance has metal attachments, they could be tarnished if placed in soaking solution. Your dentist can recommend the proper method for keeping your denture in good shape. If your denture no longer fits properly, if it breaks, cracks or chips, or if one of the teeth becomes loose, see your dentist immediately. In many cases, dentists can make necessary adjustments or repairs, often on the same day.
If you need help finding a dentist you can call the following numbers: The local Health Department might be able to provide some dental work, PanCare of Fl (850) 880-6568 localted in Freeport does some dental work once an application is completed, LeCom (850) 951-0200which is the new dental school in DeFuniak Springs which does work on a sliding scale, their is also another program the office has paperwork on to complete.