Dentistry for Seniors

A connection exists between your oral health and your overall physical health

This link becomes more important as we age. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in plaque feeds on the sugar in diets to produce acid which may cause cavities. Periodontal disease is primarily caused by plaque and can progress slowly over time with little or no pain. As we age, plaque builds faster and in greater amounts. We become more susceptible to plaque buildup and increased weakening of older filings. Some aging adults who did not have fluoride in their water may have decay. Periodontal (or gum) disease has been linked to heart disease, pneumonia, diabetes complications and strokes.

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Periodontal disease warning signs

If you notice any of the following signs, contact the dentist as soon as possible

  • bleeding gums
  • constant bad breath
  • gums that pull away from your teeth
  • red and swollen gums
  • pus that appears between your teeth and gums when pressed together
  • change in the fit of your partial dentures

Oral Health Maintenance

Proper oral hygiene at home includes brushing real or replacement teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and daily flossing. Visiting the dentist regularly for a thorough oral exam, professional cleaning and scaling is important. Your dentist may be able to detect symptoms of early diabetes, oral cancers and infections. With attention to proper dental oral care, some diseases can be discovered earlier and possibly avoided.

It is important to tell your dentist about your medical conditions and medical history. List the prescriptions, doses and frequency you are taking these, along with any over-the-counter products, and herbal medicines.  Often, changes in the oral health of seniors are consequences of chronic disease and medications. 

My mouth feels dry - what is this?

Dry mouth (known as Xerostomia) happens when saliva glands do not function properly. Saliva keeps your mouth moist, washes away food as well as neutralizes acids that produce plaque. Dry mouth left undiagnosed and untreated can damage your teeth.

Causes of dry mouth include certain medical conditions and/or medications. 

Speak to your dentist about these symptoms and remember to provide your dentist with a list of all prescriptions, medications, over-the-counter products and herbal medicines you are taking, along with your medical history.

Good Oral Health Benefits

Being diligent with proper oral care can help with other potential disease.
Osteoporosis is a common bone disease of decreased bone density and weakened bones. There is a connection between oral health and bone metabolism; early signs of osteoporosis may be detected through oral exams and dental x-rays.

Early signs of oral cancer may be detected by an oral examination by your dentist. This is important even if you do not have your natural teeth and wear dentures.

Any change in your mouth that continues longer than two weeks should be examined by your dentist, including non-healing sores or changes in your voice.

Contact 404 Dental Office today to schedule an appointment.

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