Oral Hygiene Tips for Arthritis Patients

Harbor Pointe Dental of Petoskey prioritizes oral health education for its patients. To that end, Harbor Pointe Dental of Petoskey offers online tips on topics ranging from pediatric care to oral hygiene for patients with arthritis.

For many elderly individuals, everyday hygiene tasks like brushing and flossing teeth can become painful to the point of avoidance. For these patients, a few simple adaptations can mean the difference between good oral health and neglect-induced tooth decay. Those who struggle with holding a toothbrush, for example, may find an electric toothbrush easier to manipulate than a manual model.

Those who prefer not to purchase a new toothbrush may be able to place a tennis ball at the end of an ordinary toothbrush, thus adding an easier hand-grip. Others prefer to tie a rubber band around the handle of the toothbrush and loop the band around the brushing hand. This method relieves the brusher of the need to grasp the brush at all. Similarly, those who find it difficult to grasp floss or wrap it around the fingers may find plastic flossers beneficial. Available in a number of sizes, these devices require less manipulation than traditional flossing techniques.

About Gum Tissue Grafts

At Harbor Pointe Dental of Petoskey, Michigan, Dr. David Ellsworth performs a variety of cosmetic procedures. Many patients at Harbor Pointe Dental of Petoskey have received soft-tissue gum grafts.

Designed for patients with receding gums, soft tissue graft surgery can protect both the roots and bones of a tooth from damage due to exposure. Exposed roots can cause patients to experience unnecessary sensitivity and may also lead to tooth loss if the damage becomes extensive. Gum graft surgery covers and protects the sensitive areas of teeth while also boosting patients’ self-esteem by giving them more even and attractive smiles.

During a gum graft, a dentist will take tissue from the roof of the patient’s mouth or from surrounding gum structures. The choice of source depends on the amount of tissue needed and where the dentist feels that he or she can safely remove periodontal material. For some patients, periodontal material from a tissue bank may yield better results. After sourcing the tissue to graft, the dentist attaches the tissue to the area needing treatment. After this same-day procedure, most patients require soft and cool foods for seven to 14 days as the gum heals.