Dental Health

You can’t have good overall health without good dental health. Poor oral health has a negative impact on quality of life.  Mouth pain, missing teeth or infections can influence how one speaks, eats and socializes affecting their physical, mental and social well-being. 

There is a close connection between chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and oral health. People with other illness are more likely to have periodontal disease too.  Infected gums are dangerous as infection can spread to the blood stream.  If someone has tooth pain, this can cause nutrition to suffer if it hurts to eat.  Certain medical conditions, such as arthritis or dementia can make maintaining proper oral health difficult.    

Common Dental Issues Associated with Aging

Darkened teeth may be caused by staining or thinning of the enamel. Dry mouth can be caused by age related reduced saliva flow, some medications or radiation therapy.
Diminished taste can be caused by medications, dentures, disease or just a result of advancing age.
Root decay can be caused by root exposure from receding gums.
Gum disease can be caused by plaque, tobacco use, poor fitting dentures, poor diet, certain diseases such as anemia, cancer and diabetes. Gum disease can result in tooth loss.
If teeth are lost and not replaced, the remaining teeth can shift and cause an uneven jaw bone.
Lip inflammation can be caused by poor fitting dentures or poor dental hygiene.
Thrush (overgrowth of fungus candida albicans) can be caused by drugs that affect the immune system.

Oral Hygiene Tips for Seniors

Twice daily brushing and flossing with fluoride toothpaste
Rinse with antiseptic mouthwash once daily
Regular cleaning at dental office or though a mobile dental hygienist
Regular oral exams even if wearing dentures to check for mouth cancer
Inform dentist of recent changes, sensitivities, tooth loss, pain, lumps, difficulty tasting, swallowing or chewing
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
Drink plenty of water
Avoid sugar, alcohol and tobacco

Financing Dental Care

Health Benefits Plans 
Veterans Affairs
Alberta Seniors Benefits for qualifying lower income seniors
Dental Schools 
Sheldon Chumir Dental Clinic