Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Senior Dentistry: Common Oral Health Problems and Solutions

As age and health needs change, your dental needs will follow suit. Senior patients experience oral health concerns that teens or younger adults may not – but that doesn’t mean that seniors can’t enjoy beautiful teeth and a healthy smile. We aim to help seniors achieve strong and healthy smiles by being well-versed on the most effective treatments for common health concerns, which include:

Dry Mouth – Hormonal changes and medications can make your mouth drier, but general aging can do this as well. Dry mouth poses a problem for your oral health, as there is less saliva to wash away debris and harmful bacteria. For senior patients with dry mouth symptoms, it’s important to make more frequent trips to the dentist, so teeth can be cleaned thoroughly and prevent decay and gum disease from developing. Additional treatments to prevent dry mouth from damaging your teeth include fluoride rinses or sealants.

Gum Disease – Many adult patients experience gum disease, with the condition potentially worsening as you get older.  We help care for our patients’ soft tissue health with preventive dental check-ups and root scaling and planing. In many cases, chewing gum that contains xylitol helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease symptoms, such as bleeding and puffy tissue.  We keep a close eye on the gum health of our senior patients, to help avoid tooth extraction deriving from oral health complications.

Tooth Loss – In some cases, teeth do need to be extracted. While plenty of people are keeping more of their natural teeth into their later years, the need for dentures is still common. Our office provides tooth loss solutions in the form of full and partial dentures for senior patients. As a cost-effective treatment option, dentures are a great way to get a full smile and improve oral function. We teach our denture patients how to care for their new teeth at home and to prevent oral health problems caused by improperly cleaned dentures. We also take care to ensure that dentures fit properly, so they’re comfortable to wear all day long.

Broken Teeth or Restorations – It’s possible for teeth to chip or crack as you get older, especially if your oral health has been affected by osteoporosis or hormone changes. If you’ve had dental restorations for years, those may need attention at some point as well. We’re capable of restoring teeth with crowns, veneers, and onlays/inlays. We can also fix dental appliances, like dentures, to make sure your oral function is not affected.

We help our valued senior patients enjoy healthy smiles by encouraging frequent dental visits and offering cost-effective options for care. If you have questions about your oral health, please contact our Landsdowne, VA family dental office for your next visit.


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