Geriatric Dentistry Santa Cruz

Photo Credit:  Phase4Photography | Adobe Stock

Photo Credit: Phase4Photography | Adobe Stock

4 Dental Dangers That Affect Geriatric Patients

Everyone is at risk for various dental problems, such as cavities. However, as you age, your risk of developing more severe problems rises because of natural wear and tear — perhaps from a lifetime of not caring for your teeth. Landmark Dental Group welcomes patients of all ages, including geriatric patients. To learn more about geriatric dentistry, check out these four common dental dangers that affect older patients, just below.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth may just seem like an annoyance, but it has major consequences. The saliva in your mouth plays an important role in the health of your teeth. It helps remove the bacteria and the foods on which bacteria feeds, such as sugar. When you have a dry mouth, nothing is flushed from your mouth. It stays on your teeth, promoting decay and tartar build up. Everyone can get dry mouth, but it is quite common in older people due to the fact that there are many medications that can cause dry mouth, and oftentimes geriatric patients are on multiple prescriptions.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is another problem that affects many elderly patients. Without treatment, it can lead to severe pain, gum recession, tooth loss or even loss of bone structure in the jaw. Gum disease is completely preventable with good oral hygiene, but it is still common. Failing to get routine cleanings that can eliminate tartar or being a smoker can increase your risk of gum disease. Landmark Dental Group offers geriatric dentistry treatments to help reverse or relieve the symptoms of gum disease, such as cleanings and antibiotic treatments.

Root Caries

Root caries are special types of cavities. Most cavities occur on the erupted portion of your teeth. However, root caries occur on the roots of the teeth. This leads to discomfort and increases the risk of tooth infection or tooth loss. Root caries are more common on elderly patients because they are more likely to have gaps between their gums and teeth, which allow bacteria to hide and cause decay. Landmark offers services such as scaling and root planing to prevent root caries, and they can, of course, treat them once they occur.

Missing Teeth

A lot of elderly patients have missing teeth. Again, there are many causes for this, such as poor oral hygiene habits, smoking, trauma, gum disease, normal wear-and-tear over the years, etc. The more teeth you have missing, the harder it is to talk and eat properly. Landmark offers a wide selection of options for replacing missing teeth, including dentures, dental bridges and implants. If you already have dentures, but they aren’t fitting properly, that’s normal. Landmark can help resize them for you, so you can once again eat and talk without trouble.

It’s important for everyone to care for their teeth, even the elderly. In fact, they often have more problems than younger people, but most of these problems can be corrected. For more information about geriatric dentistry, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

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