Dental Health Tips for Kupuna

Kauai kupuna rock! They work, surf, play pickleball, AND provide childcare. Like the rest of our ohana, kupuna need a “healthy mouth, healthy life” game plan to address their particular set of oral health needs.

Even with healthy diets, many seniors suddenly develop cavities. A common reason is “dry-mouth” that can be a side effect of over 500 medications. Without saliva, bacteria that causes decay thrive. Over-the-counter products, such as oral moisturizers (rinses/sprays), relieves symptoms and prevent cavities. Sugar-free lozenges stimulate saliva production, and drinking lots of water can help, as can a humidifier, especially if you live in a drier area. Your dentist can recommend prescription toothpastes, gels or varnishes, and other protective techniques.

Gum disease is also common in older adults. Beyond the potential for pain and tooth loss, many studies link gum disease with inflammatory conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s. A healthy mouth is an important factor in overall health.

The average age of people diagnosed with oral cancer is 62, and the number of cases is rising. Early detection is essential, and regular dental check-ups are key.

Need a healthy holiday gift idea to keep your kupuna rockin’? Electric toothbrushes and waterpiks help to prevent dental problems, and your beloved kupuna will remember that you care about their health every time they use it.