31 Oct Dental Care For Seniors
Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert is a family dental practice. Our patients come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. We emphasize starting good oral hygiene habits early in life. But we also are aware that seniors need as much, and often more, attention than children. And dentistry for seniors sometimes requires helping folks understand that there are special needs for Grandma and Grandpa!
As we age, we can experience problems with mobility and dexterity. This can compromise maintaining good oral hygiene practices at home. It can also be more difficult to schedule regular dental visits.
Medications might also interfere with the desire or ability to brush and floss daily. For some patients, certain medications create a dry mouth from reduced saliva flow. A side effect of this condition can be increased sensitivity in gums, making it more of a challenge to keep up with daily dental habits.
We admonish our kids not to eat candy because we know it is a leading cause of tooth decay. But the seniors in our life may also need friendly reminders from time to time not to suck on things like Lifesavers. The fact is, tooth decay is more likely to occur in older adults. For those who have kept a good oral hygiene regimen throughout their lives, it may be less of a problem. For many, however, tooth decay and tooth loss will be part of the aging process. This is why it is so important for seniors to have regular checkups.
Bone loss is a very real issue. Our jaws are the foundation that keeps our teeth in place, so when the jaw loses bone mass, teeth can become loose and fall out. For younger folks, implants are a great solution. For older people with osteoporosis, this may not be a viable option. The best option is most likely dentures. But dentures can be frustrating! They are hard to get used to, require extra care in cleaning, and need to be adjusted for proper fit from time to time. If you or your loved ones have dentures, make sure to keep them adjusted properly. It’s not a difficult job for our dentists, and it will make eating a whole lot more comfortable and pleasant.
Signs that you need to visit us
A constant sore throat, difficulty swallowing, or a dry mouth are all indications of an underlying condition. Call us for an appointment if you are experiencing any of these things. If you have red, swollen or bleeding gums, you should come in to see us. It could be a serious infection, periodontal disease, or early cancer. If you notice that your gums are pulling away from your teeth, or if there is pus around the gumline, that’s another sign you need urgent dental attention. Finally, a change in your ability to taste and enjoy food can be age related or it could indicate a medical problem. We can diagnose and help treat the problem so you can eat with pleasure again.
Like everything else, our dental health requires early attention to any problems that come up. This is especially true concerning dentistry for seniors— and Lifetime Family Dental understands the specific challenges that seniors face. A great jazz pianist said on the occasion of his 99th birthday, “If I knew I was going to live so long, I’d have taken better care of myself!” Don’t wait to take care of your oral health. Call us today to schedule a cleaning and checkup. Older and wiser is the way to go!