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Seniors & Oral Health

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Proper oral care can keep you smiling for a lifetime. Brushing at least twice a day (and after every meal when possible) with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristle toothbrush are as important as ever. Flossing can help save teeth by removing plaque between teeth and below the gum-line where your toothbrush can't reach.

Good periodontal (gum) health is critical for keeping your teeth all your life. Poor periodontal health is commonly referred to as gum disease. Gum disease can cause the loss of teeth when the roots of the teeth are no longer firmly supported by the gums and bone of the jaws. Fortunately, many gum problems respond well to treatment.

Oral cancer most often occurs in people over 40. See Dr. Mahlin immediately if you notice any red or white patches on your gums or tongue, and watch for sores that fail to heal. Unfortunately, oral cancer is frequently difficult to detect in early stages, when it is most easily cured. Most denture wearers may not visit their dentists often enough and are prone to developing problems that go unnoticed. Dr. Mahlin should perform a thorough examination to screen for signs of cancer on a regular basis.

Dry mouth (xerostomia) occurs when salivary glands fail to work properly due to disease, certain medications, or cancer treatment. This can result in difficulty eating, swallowing, speaking and tasting your food. Radiation therapy can lead to severe complications, so it is advisable to see your dentist before beginning any form of cancer treatment. Drinking lots of water, avoiding sweets, tobacco, alcohol and caffeine are some ways to fight dry mouth. Dr. Mahlin can also prescribe medications to fight severe cases of xerostomia.

Recent studies indicate that maintaining a healthy mouth may keep your body healthier and help you avoid diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The best way to achieve good oral health is to visit Dr. Mahlin for a thorough examination and cleaning at least twice a year.

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If you have any questions about your oral health, Dr. Mahlin would be happy to discuss them with you.

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