Dental Care for the Aging Adult

Taking care of your teeth and gums is important at every stage of life, whether you are a child or senior adult. However, there are unique sets of challenges you’ll face at every age. When it comes to the older population or elderly, it is common to battle the following:

Gum Disease
While children are not exempt from gum disease, the risk for periodontal problems increases as we age. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss and it has been associated with stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis and other overall health conditions. Recognizing the early signs of gum disease (such as swelling, bleeding and redness) and seeking treatment can reverse this oral condition before it causes serious consequences.
Dry Mouth
It is very common for senior adults to experience dry mouth. This can often be traced back to a certain medication that the patient is taking. While you may not be able to discontinue your prescriptions, it is important that you work with a dentist to manage your dry mouth. Without adequate saliva production, your mouth has a hard time rinsing away food debris and bacteria as well as neutralizing acids after you eat or drink.
Receding Gums
To some degree, gum recession is a natural part of aging. However, you can slow the recession of your gums by brushing and flossing on a regular basis and preventing gum disease. If your teeth become especially sensitive because of receding gums, a gum graft procedure may be considered.

Just because you are getting older, doesn’t mean you are forced to deal with these oral health issues. There are many things you can do to prevent and manage dental problems as you age. First and foremost, don’t skip your routine dental appointments. This ensures that your problems are detected at their earliest, most treatable stage – which often means avoiding costly and lengthy restorative procedures. In addition, consider switching to an electric toothbrush. We all lose dexterity and coordination as we get older, which can compromise your ability to brush and floss effectively.

Need to schedule your dental exam and cleaning? Call Park South Dentistry. We can protect and restore your smile at all stages of life! Just because your mind and muscles are starting to fail you, doesn’t mean your smile must go downhill too.

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