When Should Seniors Seek Dental Care
Seniors should receive regular dental care to maintain their ideal oral health. If you are a senior who is experiencing a dental issue or have not seen a dentist in some time, there is some information you should be aware of.
Common Senior Dental Complaints
Discolored Teeth –Changes in dentin and enamel due to aging as well as years of enjoying stain-causing foods and beverages can discolor your teeth.
Dry Mouth – This side-effect is commonly caused by medicines and cancer treatments.
Denture-Induced Stomatitis is a condition involving inflammation of the soft tissue under a denture. It is frequently brought on by ill-fitting dentures, poor dental hygiene, or an accumulation of candida albicans (fungus).
Gum Disease – Periodontal infection is caused by plaque and tartar build up and aggravated by the bacteria that feed off left over food particles. Poor dental hygiene and lack of dental care, use of tobacco products, poor-fitting bridges and dentures, nutritional deficits, and certain illnesses can all contribute to gum disease, which causes a host of other complications including:
Root Decay or infiltration of the tooth root by decay-causing acids.
Tooth Loss - As gums recede, supporting tissues that help secure the tooth in place are depleted.
Uneven Jawbone Volume - When missing teeth have not been replaced with an implant, bone resorbs and becomes thinner.
It is important to see a dentist even if you are not currently experiencing any problems. If it has been a year or more since your last dental visit, you should make an appointment as soon as possible.
What to Tell Your Dentist
· Length of time since your last dental visit
· Any recent changes to your oral health
· Loose or sensitive teeth
· Difficulty tasting, chewing, or swallowing
· Dental Pain, discomfort, sores, or bleeding in your mouth
· Lumps, bumps, or swelling in your mouth
During the exam, your dentist should examine the following areas for lumps, sores, or changes in function or appearance.
· Face and neck
· Bite and jaw
· Lymph nodes and salivary glands
· Interior surfaces of your mouth
Age itself is not a deciding factor in determining the risk of acquiring a dental disorder. However, certain medical conditions, such as arthritis in the hands and fingers, may make brushing or flossing teeth difficult.
If you are seeking to maintain your dental health, or have a need to restore your smile, please call The Dental Clinic in Lincoln Park.