Sore gums at any age are painful and annoying, but soreness can be a particular problem for people over 60. Retired persons may find it harder to keep to a regular schedule that includes dental care, which can cause sore gums. Dentures can also make gums sore and uncomfortable, particularly if they are new. There are several steps a person over 60 can take to remedy a sore gum issue.
There are several over-the-counter mouth rinses specifically formulated to help with sore gums. However, the National Institutes of Health cautions that some of these rinses may be too strong and can cause more harm than good. A natural rinse that people over 60 can make at home is a salt water rinse with 1 teaspoon of salt and 236ml of warm water. Salt water helps kill the bacteria on the gums that can contribute to soreness.
Cleaning your teeth and gums regularly can help reduce sore gums and gum pain. According to the National Institute on Aging, older people should brush their teeth twice daily and floss once per day. This can remove the plaque and bacteria that are causing gums to feel sore. People with dentures should clean their dentures every day to remove bacteria and other irritants that can lead to sore gums. Brushing the gums gently with a soft bristle toothbrush can also help denture wearers who are experiencing sore gums.
Eating a balanced and healthy diet is one of the keys to good dental health, according to the National Institute on Aging. In particular, eating crunchy foods, such as carrots and apples, can help clean the teeth naturally and strengthen the gums, which will help alleviate soreness and prevent it from reoccurring in the future.
If sore gums persist or get worse, visiting the dentist to find the source of the problem is advisable. According to the National Institute on Aging, even people with dentures need to schedule regular dental visits to ensure the good health of their mouth and gums. Regular dental visits will enable your dentist to detect changes in the teeth, mouth and gums, and may prevent problems such as sore gums.
People over the age of 60 need to pay particular attention to gum problems, as they can often be a sign of a more serious illness or can lead to serious complications affecting the mouth, jaw and teeth. Sore gums can be a sign of diabetes or heart disease. Sore gums that are left untreated can lead to deeper problems in the bone and muscle that support the teeth and mouth.
- Carole Nickerson