Oral thrush, which is basically a yeast infection of the mouth, can happen to anyone. However, senior citizens can actually be more prone to dealing with this problem because of their dentures and because of health issues, such as diabetes, that can be common in older people. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to help prevent this problem.
1. Keep Dentures Clean
Seniors who wear dentures can be particularly prone to oral thrush. One good way to help prevent this from happening is to make sure that you keep your dentures nice and clean. You should be removing your dentures a couple of times a day to clean them thoroughly, which can be done with just soap and water. At nighttime, give your mouth a chance to "rest" from wearing the dentures by soaking your dentures in a container of denture solution, which can also help get them clean.
2. Rinse Your Mouth Regularly
Additionally, you will want to make sure that you rinse your mouth out thoroughly on a regular basis. This is a critical step because it helps flush debris and germs out of your mouth. Plain, cold water should work fine, but if you'd like to really focus on killing bacteria and freshening up your mouth, you can use your favorite mouthwash when rinsing.
3. Take Care of Your Diabetes
Are you a diabetic? If so, you could be at a higher risk of developing oral thrush because of the additional sugar that can be found in your saliva, which can promote thrush growth. However, just because you have diabetes does not mean that you have to resign yourself to this problem. Making sure that you take good care of yourself -- such as by monitoring your insulin levels, eating a proper diabetic-friendly diet and seeing your doctor as recommended -- can help you avoid oral thrush and can help with your overall health as well.
Even though many senior citizens experience oral thrush in their lifetimes, this does not have to happen to you. If you follow these tips, you can help keep yourself safe from oral thrush. If you do notice signs of having it, such as having a bad taste in your mouth, bad breath or a white tongue, then make sure that you see your doctor immediately so that he or she can help you get the proper treatment for the problem.