Looking after your teeth and mouth can get difficult as we get older and developing a sore mouth can make it really difficult to eat and drink and even talk.  There are common problems that can develop for older people  and these may include:

  • Poor gum health  - bleeding gums, swollen

  • Decayed/broken teeth

  • Poorly fitting dentures – weakened facial muscles

  • Dry mouth - reduced saliva, medications

  • Oral infections - Thrush, cracked lips

  • Ulcers , Red/white patches

  • Loss of function due to Stroke, Osteoarthritis, Dementia, Parkinson's
Easing a dry mouth

Medication can cause a dry mouth so drink little and often

  • frequent sips of water throughout the day

  • suck on ice chips

  • avoid caffeine, alcohol  and sugary drinks

  • reduce smoking

  • serve gravies, sauces or a drink with meals to help moisten the food

  • Artificial Saliva can be prescribed.

  • Oral balance gel

  • Provide optimum oral hygiene

Reduced saliva increases the risk of developing dental decay if sugary drinks are given little and often.

Daily care

Brush teeth twice daily with soft brush and fluoride toothpaste

Make sure correct toothbrush, toothpaste and denture care products are available and used.

Offer assistance to those residents who are not able to maintain their own mouth care.

Clean dentures at least once a day with soap and water. Remove at night and keep in water in a named pot.

Mouth hygiene is important. Teeth and dentures that are not cleaned properly may lead to bacteria getting into the lungs and causing chest infections.

Healthy gums do not bleed. Remove plaque to reduce bleeding and inflammation.

Remember to brush the tongue.

Sore mouth

Check daily for sores and colour changes.

Applying mouth gels to painful areas of the mouth may be helpful or using swabs on the lips and under dentures may relieve drying, cracking, soreness.

Apply lip balm or petroleum jelly to dry lips

Drink regularly throughout the day to help keep mouth moist

Sore corners of the mouth may need an anti fungal (Nystatin) gel applied.

Consider Corsodyl or Difflam mouthwash.

Record and observe for 2-3 weeks, if no improvement, refer to dentist.