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Adults and older people

Oral Health for adults and older People

Information about Oral Health for Adults and Older People

Adult and Older People Dentist Image

Good oral health is essential to general health and social wellbeing.

In adults and older people, oral diseases can be a result of poor oral hygiene, consuming excessive sugars and high tobacco and alcohol use.

How do I reduce the risk of developing oral disease?

To reduce the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease or oral cancer it is important that individuals follow the daily preventive messages.

Regular tooth brushing

  • Clean teeth at least twice a day with a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste containing 1450-ppm fluoride
  • Spit out the toothpaste but do not rinse mouth with water or mouthwash
  • Use dental floss or interdental brushes to clean between teeth and prevent gum disease
  • If your gums do hurt or bleed while brushing or flossing, or you are experiencing persistent bad breath, visit your dentist as these conditions may indicate a problem

Healthy diet

  • Restrict sugary food and drinks to mealtimes. The more often teeth are exposed to sugary foods and drinks the more likely they are to decay
  • Water and milk are the only drinks that do not cause tooth decay
  • Consume the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables, as these can be protective against oral cancer
  • Alcohol and tobacco are risk factors for oral cancer, when used in combination the risks of oral cancer are even greater
  • Stop tobacco use and decrease alcohol consumption to reduce the risk of oral cancer

Dental registration and attendance

  • Visit the dentist regularly, check-ups can detect early signs of oral health problems, and in some cases, reverse the problem
  • Adults with no natural teeth, should still visit the dentist annually to check gums and inside of the mouth
  • For details of NHS dentists in the East Renfrewshire area please see related pages

Emergency Dental Treatment

Emergency out of hours treatment is available through a referral from NHS 24.  Following an assessment, you may be given an appointment to attend the out of hour's service at Glasgow Dental Hospital and School.

If you are interested in finding out more about the oral health programmes in East Renfrewshire, please contact the Health Improvement Team.

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