Dental Care for Senior Citizens

Friday, October 18th, 2013, 5:15 pm

Dental health is often thought of as something only parents of young children need to worry about. However, senior citizens also face serious dental issues as they age.

Let’s take a look at some dental issues common among seniors:

  1. Dry mouth. Dry mouth is when your mouth fails to produce a healthy flow of saliva on its own. Lack of saliva in the mouth can lead to tooth decay. Dry mouth is caused by a variety of factors, and is often a side-effect of medication. It  can be treated by avoiding sugary drinks or foods, limiting your intake of caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, and sipping water. It is important to use a mouth rinse that contains no alcohol, since alcohol causes further dryness.
  2. Gum disease. Gum disease can occur at any age, and is caused by progressive plaque and bacteria buildup. This can be worse in people who smoke, or have a condition such as diabetes. Gingivitis, which causes gums to bleed, is a form of gum disease. Gum disease can be avoided by regularly brushing your teeth, and flossing. Professional cleanings with your dentist are also important to the prevention and treatment of gum disease.
  3. Oral cancer. With age, risks for oral cancer increase. Oral cancer most commonly occurs in smokers, and usually appears as red sores of abrasions on the tongue. Patients may also have  trouble chewing or swallowing food. Your dentist will evaluate your teeth and mouth for any changes or signs of oral cancer. First, a biposy will determine the severity of the cancer. If necessary, surgery will remove any cancerous tissue.
  4. Loose-fitting dentures. With age, your gums and the bones which support them change shape. If you wear dentures, changes in gums can make them feel uncomfortable or loose. Dentures are made to fit your mouth perfectly, and if you feel any looseness or discomfort, they probably need to be adjusted. Never try to make adjust the fit of your dentures on your own, since you could damage them. Visit your dentist for adjustments so your dentures fit perfectly once again.

Dental Care for Seniors in Toccoa

If you want to learn more about the dental care services we offer, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Wilbanks Smile Center is located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Category: cavities, gum disease

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