The effects of aging make it more important for seniors to seek regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist will check to see if you have any symptoms that may put you at risk for oral health problems, including:
Gum Disease- Gum disease or periodontal disease caused by plaque and made worse by food left in teeth, use of tobacco products, poor-fitting bridges and dentures, poor diets, and certain diseases, such as anemia, cancer, and diabetes. This is often a problem for older adults.
Tooth Loss- Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss and can be prevented if caught early. The accumulation of plaque, gum recession, older fillings and dry mouth put the elderly at greater risk for losing their natural teeth.
Dry Mouth- This is caused by reduced saliva flow, and can be caused by medications, medical conditions, or emotional stress and anxiety.
Uneven Jawbone- An uneven jaw is also caused by tooth loss and can lead to excessive overjet or under bite. It can also lead to a crossbite of the back or front teeth or an abnormal, uneven facial appearance.
Root Decay- Root decay is caused by exposure of the tooth to decay-causing acids. Discolored Teeth- As we age the enamel layer of our teeth that acts as a protective layer and what once started out as bright white becomes discolored because of natural wear-and-tear and stain causing foods.
Loss of Taste- This sensory loss is caused by aging, disease, medication, and dentures. Consult with Dr. Wayne Sutton of Sonoma Smiles to learn more about the above symptoms or to see what treatment plans are available to you. There may be other factors involved in your oral health besides the above such as arthritis in the hands or fingers that make proper oral hygiene difficult or impossible to perform. Certain medications can also affect your oral health and may make a change in your dental treatment necessary.
Good oral hygiene does not vary from different age groups, it is still a necessary and consistent process that must be maintained or the effects can become problematic quickly. Seniors however may be more susceptible to plaque build-up which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Sonoma Smiles recommends that all individuals:
For more information about dental care for seniors please contact the cosmetic dentistry office of Sonoma Smiles of Rohnert Park, California. 707-623-1778