Dental Care for Seniors 2023 : Although teeth are prone to decay and disease at any age, dental health issues tend to arise more frequently as we grow older. As per the Washington Dental Service Foundation, approximately 75 percent of individuals aged 60 and above have only a fraction of their original set of teeth due to dental health complications that occur later in life.
Even though dental problems may seem trivial compared to other ailments faced by the elderly, studies have shown that poor dental health is directly connected to severe health issues that can be particularly perilous for those aged over 60.
Dental Care for Seniors 2023
Insufficient dental health habits earlier in life make gum disease common among older individuals. It is characterized by an infection of the gums caused by plaque buildup, which can lead to gum abscesses, periodontal ligament damage, bone damage and loss of teeth if not treated. Taking care of one’s teeth is crucial for those above.
loss are linked to an increased risk for heart disease. Additionally, seniors are more prone to cavities and tooth decay, including root decay. Due to natural aging, gum tissue pulls away from the teeth exposing the roots to acids and materials that cause tooth and root decay. Poor oral health has also been associated with pneumonia.
Dental Care for Seniors 2023 Highlight
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Dental Care for Seniors
- Darkened teeth can be caused by changes in dentin and consuming staining food and drinks. Thinning of the enamel can also expose the yellowish dentin underneath, leading to darker teeth. If you notice darkening in one or more teeth, it may indicate an underlying problem that requires attention from your dentist.
- Dry mouth occurs when saliva production decreases, which can be caused by radiation treatment for head and neck cancer, illnesses like Sjögren’s syndrome, or medication side effects. Many medications are linked to this condition.
- Taste can diminish due to factors such as age, illness, medication, and denture use.
- Tooth root decay is caused by acid exposure, and gum recession increases susceptibility. The root section lacks enamel protection that the crown section has.
- Older adults often suffer from gum disease due to various factors such as plaque accumulation, food particles in teeth, tobacco use, ill-fitting dentures or bridges, poor diet, and medical conditions like anemia, cancer, and diabetes.
- The loss of teeth is often caused by gum disease, which is a primary contributing factor.
- An asymmetrical jawbone can occur due to the absence of teeth that were not replaced. This creates gaps within the dental arch, causing other remaining teeth to move and adjust their position over time.
- Stomatitis from dentures can be caused by poorly fitting dentures, inadequate oral hygiene, or a build-up of Candida albicans fungus. This results in tissue inflammation beneath the denture.
- Thrush is caused by the overgrowth of Candida albicans fungus in the mouth, which can be triggered by immune system-impacting diseases or medications.
Oral Hygiene Tips for Dental Care for Seniors 2023
Maintaining good oral health requires seniors to brush and floss their natural teeth on a daily basis. Neglecting oral hygiene can result in the quick buildup of plaque, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
In order to preserve excellent dental hygiene, it is crucial for people of all ages to:
- you use a toothbrush to clean your teeth at least twice a day, while using toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Use dental floss at least once every day.
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice daily for rinsing purposes.
- Maintain regular appointments with your dentist for the purpose of receiving a thorough oral examination and cleaning.
As per the American Dental Association, the utilization of an antibacterial mouthwash can decrease the presence of bacteria that lead to plaque formation and gum disease.
What Seniors Can Expect During a Dental Exam
When you have a dental appointment as a senior, your dentist ought to carry out a comprehensive review of your dental history and examination. The queries posed during the dental history should consist of:
- Kindly provide the reason for your most recent dental appointment and an estimated date of the visit.
- In case you have observed any alterations in your oral cavity recently.
- In case you have observed any teeth that are loose or sensitive.
- If you have noticed any difficulty tasting, chewing, or swallowing
- In case you experience any pain, uneasiness, wounds, or bleeding within your oral cavity
- In case you have observed any protuberances, growths, or expansions inside your oral cavity.
During an oral examination, your dentist will inspect various parts of your head and neck for any issues. This includes checking for skin discoloration, moles, sores, bite problems, jaw clicking or popping, swelling or lumps in lymph nodes and salivary glands, infections or injuries in inner cheeks, and oral cancer indications in the tongue and other surfaces. Your teeth will also be evaluated for decay, cracks or fillings issues.
When you have dentures or oral appliances, your dentist will inquire about their usage and examine the areas where they touch for irritation or damage. This information is vital for proper care and maintenance of your dental appliance.
Financial Aid for Dental Care for Seniors 2023
In case you are a senior citizen with a limited or fixed income and find it difficult to bear the cost of regular dental care, several dentists provide their services at discounted rates through assistance programs sponsored by dental societies. The availability of aid may differ from one community to another, therefore contacting your local dental society would be beneficial in determining the location of nearby assistance programs and low-cost care facilities, such as public health clinics and dental school clinics. Additionally, you can refer to your local phone book, browse the internet or approach your local dental society for further guidance.
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