The reason being that, many complications in relation to the oral mucosa, gums and teeth can arise during this age and manifestations of such can have a debilitating effect over an elderly person in relation to his or her nutrition, organ functioning, communication as well as over their general comfort level.
During the elderly age, many of the chronic illnesses in relation to the oral mucosa and other tissues would start to take its toll and among these illnesses gum diseases and tooth decay can be counted high. Lose of tooth would also be a common finding among the elderly age group due to factors that were mentioned before as well as due to normal age related changes in the gums and in the teeth. At the same time, prolonged insults on the surface lining of the mouth can give rise to malignant transformation as well. In most instances, such changes would occur at an accelerated pace due to poor hygiene in the oral cavity. In this regard, it would be important to note that, there is growing evidence to show that, oral health do in-fact affect the coronary artery health or the wellness of the heart during this period. Therefore, it would be a prudent suggestion to take necessary measures to keep the oral cavity clean and healthy for a comfortable, healthy as well as socially engaging elderly life.
Thus, what measures would be important to keep good oral health in the elderly age. Let us see how.
-Continue to brush and floss teeth and the gums at least twice daily
As with all other age groups, even the elderly are susceptible to bacterial invasions of the gums and the oral mucosa in instances of poor hygiene. Thus, regular brushing and flossing is a must to maintain oral hygiene and even in patients with debilitating illness, maintaining the oral hygiene would be one of the important aspects of the nursing care. In certain instances, if brushing and flossing becomes difficult, an antiseptic mouth wash can also be used.
-Avoid smoking and other bad habits
In the Asian region, betel chewing is one habit which can lead to many complications in the oral health and in the western arena; smoking can be considered one of the worse habits when it comes to oral health. Thus, avoiding these practices and keeping the oral cavity clean with regular cleansing with water should be the norm for these individuals.
-Keep the dentures clean
In case a person is using dentures, they need to be kept clean and each night it should be washed and kept in an antiseptic solution overnight for optimal protection for the gums. At the same time, these dentures should be well fitting or else it can lead to ulcerations and thereafter towards secondary infections.
-Take a well balanced meal
As with any other tissue, the oral tissues such as the gums and the teeth would also require certain types of minerals and vitamins for its optimal function and therefore an elderly person needs to take a balanced diet which provides these in adequate amounts.
-Regular oral checkups
Having regular oral checkups would also be a useful method to keep oral health at bay and an yearly or 6 monthly visit to the dentist would be ideal to keep things in check.