Dental care is extremely important for seniors. In this article, we’ll point out five dental challenges for seniors you might want to know about.
Teeth whitening kits popular at stores are less effective in older folks. As you age, tooth enamel tends to thin out to the point the dark yellow dentin inside each tooth begins to show through. Unfortunately, you can’t regrow enamel. At Dental Arts San Diego, however, we can offer alternatives, like porcelain veneers.
Cavities are a more significant concern to seniors than you might think. If you grew up in an area where there wasn’t fluoride in the drinking water, you may be more susceptible to tooth decay.
Dry mouth is also a huge concern for senior citizens. This is important because it, in a quick way, increases the number of cavities and decay in a patient’s mouth. The decay is not on the smooth surface, the biting surfaces of the teeth, but between the teeth, on the part of the tooth that is a lot softer. The saliva in the mouth is our mouth’s precious resource. There’s a lot of natural immunity and protection in saliva, and when the saliva is decreased, we lose a lot of that protection. The cavities are a lot more difficult to detect clinically. They’re usually below the gum, they’re a lot harder to restore, and once we do restore the teeth, they’re a lot harder for the patient to keep clean.
Your teeth can become sensitive to hot and cold food or a liquid. What happens is that over time gums recede, and nerve endings are exposed. Gum recession also can leave gaps between your teeth where bacteria can build up.
It is estimated that one out of every four older adults in the US has periodontal disease due to inadequate or spotty oral hygiene. This can lead to chronic health issues such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and pneumonia.
If you have any questions or concerns when it comes to taking care of your teeth, please contact us or make an appointment.