How are older patients impacted by their oral health?
- Posted on: Dec 15 2019
Many patients who are in their sixties and older are often worried about aging gracefully. They may notice changes to their body and skin. In addition, patients may also experience a wide range of changes to their smile. Dental health is important at all ages, and the team of Gentle Dentistry encourages senior patients to visit regularly for cleanings and evaluations. There are special considerations that need to be addressed for older patients.
Increased risk of cavities
Senior patients are at risk of developing cavities more so than their younger counterparts for many reasons. First, dry mouth is often a common problem for older patients. This reduces the amount of saliva that can wash away bacteria. The mouth becomes much more susceptible to cavities when conditions such as dry mouth exist. Additionally, patients in their later years may also be on a variety of medications that can cause dry mouth and other symptoms that can impact oral health.
Some patients in their 60’s and beyond have dentures. This doesn’t mean that they should avoid taking care of their smile. Dentures can change in fit and function, especially if they do not stay moist. This is another way in which dry mouth can impact an aging patient’s smile. Patients who have dentures should make sure to take good care of them and bring them to dental visits. Adjustments can be made, as needed, to dentures to improve the way they fit and function.
Hydration is key for the entire body, as well as the smile. Drink water throughout the day to keep the mouth moist and wash away food particles that may be present on the surfaces of the teeth. Patients who have dry mouth may also maintain hydration by chewing sugar-free gum which can stimulate saliva production.
Request an appointment with Dr. Angela Rasmussen and her team
At Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, FL, patients and families can obtain quality care regardless of age. If you are a senior who has special considerations when it comes to your oral health, we encourage you to book a consultation visit with our staff to learn more. We can be reached at (813) 922-3093 and are located at 3500 East Fletcher Avenue in Suite #221.
Posted in: Dental Health