Dental Care for Seniors
The teeth and gums become more vulnerable to a variety of potential issues as we grow older. Fortunately for patients in South Ogden, Dr. Patrick Tanner offers dental care to seniors. With a good oral hygiene regimen and regular visits to the dentist, patients can avoid the common dental problems that affect senior patients.
Dental Problems Seniors May Face
Unfortunately, senior patients face specific oral health challenges. Certain medical conditions that affect seniors, such as arthritis, can make brushing and flossing more difficult. Certain medications can also affect oral health. In addition, the effects or tooth erosion and gum recession can makes the teeth and gums more susceptible to decay and infection.
Seniors are considered to be more at risk for the following oral health problems:
- Gum disease: Plaque buildup, poor diet, tobacco usage, and certain diseases like anemia, cancer, or diabetes can increase the risk of gum disease.
- Tooth loss: Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss; tooth decay can also result in tooth loss.
- Uneven jawbone: A misaligned jaw is caused by tooth loss.
- Root decay: The roots of the teeth become exposed as gum tissues recedes, increasing the potential for decay and cavities.
- Denture-induced stomatitis: Poor dental hygiene, ill-fitting dentures, or a build up of fungus causes an inflammation of the tissue underlying a denture.
- Thrush: Certain disease and medications can trigger the overgrowth of fungus in the mouth.
- Darkened teeth: This is caused by a lifetime of consuming stain-inducing foods and beverages.
- Dry mouth: Certain diseases as well as certain medications can cause a reduction in saliva flow, which leads to dry mouth.
- Reduced sense of taste: Diseases, medications, and dentures can all contribute to this form of sensory loss.
Seniors are especially encouraged to keep in close contact with their cosmetic dentist, who can make specific recommendations for your unique situation and perform necessary procedures such as the placement of dental bridges or dental crowns.
Oral Hygiene Tips for Seniors
Advanced age does not automatically equal poor oral health. By simply applying and closely following a few simple oral health rules, seniors can avoid a myriad of tooth ailments. For example, daily brushing and flossing of teeth is essential. Since plaque can build up more quickly in the teeth of seniors, neglecting oral hygiene can more easily lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Tips for seniors to maintain good oral health:
- Brush at least twice a day with a toothpaste
- Floss at least once day but preferably twice a day
- Visit your dentist on a regular basis - at least once every six months - for a professional teeth cleaning and dental exam.
Learn More about Dental Exams
Growing older does not have to come with a myriad of oral health problems. It is possible to maintain healthy teeth and gums through the practice of good oral hygiene and attendance of regular appointments with your cosmetic dentist. To learn more about caring for your teeth as a senior and all the options available to you, schedule a consultation with the capable staff of South Ogden Smiles today.