There are several dental concerns that seniors may want to be aware of:
Do you still need to be concerned about cavities? Yes! Cavities can be more frequent in older adults for a number of reasons. Life long exposure to fluoride through community water supplies and toothpaste may not have been possible—it simply wasn’t available. Senior adults may be at risk for decay around older fillings.
Sensitivity: Receding gums could be the cause of sensitivity. As the gum tissue pulls back away from teeth, the root of the tooth becomes exposed. Dr.Shlafer would make a diagnosis so that the sensitivity can be treated properly.
Are you more at risk for oral cancer? The risk or oral cancer does increase with age. Any lesion found on the tongue or anywhere in the mouth needs to be examined.
What about loose teeth from periodontal disease? Some teeth that have become loose may be holding a partial or be part of a bridge, periodontal disease can cause these teeth to fail. It is important to have the soft tissue of the mouth (the gums) and the supporting structure (the bone) examined by Dr.Shlafer to review your condition and discuss possible solutions.
Stay tuned—-we will discuss other common problems, such as ill-fitting dentures, difficulty chewing, effects of medications on your teeth, dental implants, and help for arthritic patients.
Dental care for seniors involves unique considerations. Seniors are more likely to suffer from a host of oral health issues resulting from the natural aging process. It is not uncommon for many seniors to have most of their natural teeth, which may be anchoring bridges or partial dentures, making it extremely important to maintain them.
Seniors may be prone to gum disease which could be the result of poor dental hygiene practices, a poor diet, an ill-fitting dental appliance, and/or diseases such as cancer or diabetes. In fact , the supporting bone structure for the teeth, including the jaw, may shift. This could create bite issues and may contribute to tooth decay.
Know the warning signs that indicate your mouth, teeth , or gums may be in jeopardy, include: tooth sensitivity, teeth grinding, pain, mouth sores, swelling, loose teeth, jaw popping or clicking, dry mouth, and difficulty chewing. Be sure to talk to Dr.Shlafer regarding any of these concerns.