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Older adults

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Oral care tips for older adults

Older adults face a number of oral health problems, including:

Tooth loss

While older adults lose more teeth than younger adults, many older adults keep most of their natural teeth for a lifetime.

Uneven jawbone

As the jaws shrink and the teeth drift, they may no longer fit together properly.

Denture-induced stomatitis

This condition, which is inflammation of the tissue underneath a denture, affects about one-third of older adults.


This fungal infection is more likely to develop in older adults who take diuretics or steroids or who have medical problems.

What can you do to prevent oral and general health problems?

With age comes a number of changes that affect oral and general health. Some of these changes are:

  • Increased risk of oral infections and diseases.
  • Increased risk of bleeding and trauma to the gums.
  • Decreased ability to speak and eat properly.
  • Decreased ability to see and hear well.
  • Inadequate nutrition.
  • Increased risk of dental problems, such as tooth decay, dry mouth, and broken teeth.
  • Increased risk of falling and breaking bones.
  • Oral cancer.

Learn about your own body’s signs of aging and be aware of any changes that may occur.

  • Be aware of your overall health.
  • Follow a balanced diet.
  • Practice good dental hygiene.
  • Have regular checkups with your dentist.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.