With a bit of brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups, teeth and gums can often remain healthy for a lifetime. Sound teeth and healthy gums make it possible for an older adult to eat, speak, smile, and laugh without pain or embarrassment and also enhance his personal appearance.
With age, however, oral health problems like plaque buildup, dry mouth, cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancers can trigger pain, swelling, sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks. Neglected teeth also detract from an older adult’s personal appearance.
Anyone who's every had a toothache will that it's one of the most agonizing things they've ever experienced. They can't get to a dentist fast enough to have the offending tooth pulled or filled.
Painful teeth and gums are all too common in older adults. Arthritis, a stroke, Alzheimer's disease and other health conditions make brushing and flossing teeth difficult. Badly fitting dentures irritate gums and make eating painful. Older people produce less saliva and suffer from an uncomfortable dry mouth and bad breath. Certain medications also reduce saliva and cause mouth dryness.
People with memory disorders like Alzheimer's disease or who are depressed often forget to brush their teeth. A reminder from you will help your parent maintain good oral health.