AHS Weekly Wellness: Oral Health

Keep Your Mouth Healthy As You Age

As you get older changes that affect your mouth health can be related to aging, disease or medication. Prevention is always the best way to keep your mouth healthy at any age. This includes daily brushing and flossing and regular dental visits. A healthy mouth is important for a healthy body and mind.

Remove Plaque Twice a Day

The challenge is to get rid of plaque, the bacteria that collects daily on your teeth and dentures. It leads to tooth decay and gum disease, which are both infections in your mouth. These infections can impact other health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Keep up Your Dental Visits

Plan a dental visit every year. As well as looking for plaque, tooth decay and gum disease, your dentist is skilled at observing changes in your mouth that may be related to general health conditions. Finding dental problems at their earliest stage can save money when budgets are tight or you have no dental benefits. It may also have an impact on your overall health.

Help for a Clean Mouth

As you age, you may not be as skillful removing plaque with your toothbrush or dental floss. And old dental work can trap plaque making it harder to get at and remove. There are different styles of tooth brushes, flossing aids and other cleaning tools that can help you keep your teeth clean. At your next dental appointment, ask you oral health team about different techniques as well as products that can help you in your fight against plaque.

Medication Affects your Mouth

Medication that is either prescribed or available off the shelf can have side effects. Side effects can include bleeding or enlarged gums, changes to taste, mouth sores, and dry mouth. Tell your health professional the names of all the medications you take. If you have any side effects they can suggest ways to help. Keeping your mouth clean and healthy is the first step to coping with side effects.

Don’t let dental pain, infection or bad breath keep you away from friends and the things you like to do.

Find more information about mouth and dental health information at MyHealth.Alberta.ca