Geriatric dentists agree: As people age, they are more likely to experience tooth problems.
Why? The soft tissue of the gums recedes over time, so it is even more important to take care of dental health. With the right practices and help from your local geriatric dentists, however, you can prevent tooth loss at all stages of life.
Geriatric Dentistry Helps Solve Common Tooth Care Problems
Elderly people can face all the same tooth care issues others do: Things like sensitivity to hot and cold, risk of decay or cavities, and more. However, there are also some things they should be especially alert about to increase quality of life.
Elders and Dry Mouth
Dry mouth may seem like an inconvenience, but it actually has a significant effect on dental health. Saliva is necessary to maintain the mouth’s pH balance – which, in turn, helps prevent bacteria from colonizing teeth and stops acidic food from damaging enamel.
Sometimes, the issue can be resolved with medication. For most sufferers, however, special treatment may not be necessary. Chewing sugarless gum stimulates saliva production. Chewing between meals can curb dry mouth and might protect against the accumulation of plaque.
Elders and Decay Between Teeth
With age, it may become more difficult to practice some dental hygiene tasks. Particularly, many older people report problems flossing between teeth. While there is no replacement for flossing, there is one thing that can complement it: Anti-bacterial mouthwash.
Like sugarless gum, mouthwash is a useful tool that can be easily overlooked. Since it can penetrate between teeth, it helps maintain dental health when one cannot floss often. A water-based flosser or interdental pick should still be used to clean debris from teeth.
Elders and Gingivitis
Millions of people suffer from gingivitis, the early form of gum disease. In many cases, the signs of this problem are so subtle, it might go unnoticed until you visit your dentist. However, it can lead to severe infection and tooth loss.
In recent years, geriatric dentists and other experts have concluded that promoting blood circulation in the gums is one of the most important things brushing does. To get these benefits, you don’t even need to use toothpaste, which many elders find irritating.
Gently massaging the gums with a wet toothbrush twice a day may be effective in helping prevent gingivitis, but you should still use toothpaste as frequently as you feel comfortable with.
Landmark Dental Group Provides Geriatric Dentists You Can Trust
At any age, seeing a dentist is essential to maintaining the health of your teeth. Everyone should plan to see a dentist at least once every year. If you’ve suffered chronic dental issues or worry they might develop, visit a dentist at least twice a year.
Landmark Dental Group is happy to help Santa Cruz patients of all ages with their dental health. We offer a comfortable, professional environment where you can get your questions answered and address to your dental needs under one roof.
To learn more, contact us.