( Multi-Specialty Cosmetic Dental Care and Implant Center )

Dental Treatment For Senior Patients: (Above 40 years)

1. As a senior adult, do I really need to be concerned about cavities any more?

Dentist: Actually, cavities can be more frequent in older adults for a number of reasons. Life-long exposure to fluoride through community water supplies and toothpaste may not have been a possibility for some of our oldest seniors, it simply wasn't available when these seniors were growing up. Also, adults are more likely to have decay around older fillings.

In addition, cavities in the tooth root are more common, as gum tissue begins to recede in older adults exposing the tooth root surface to decay. Also, dry mouth, resulting from the natural aging process itself, certain medications and diseases, can lead to more tooth decay. Without an adequate amount of saliva, food particles can't be washed away and the acids produced by plaque can't be neutralized.

2. My teeth have suddenly become very sensitive to both hot and cold, but my mouth is otherwise healthy. What could cause this?

Dentist: Receding gum tissue could be the cause. As gum tissue pulls back away from teeth, the root of the tooth becomes exposed. This could be causing the sensitivity. A soft tissue graft would be the recommended treatment. Other treatment suggestions might include using a fluoride mouth rinse or switching to a toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth.

Visit your dentist to so that you can be diagnosed and treated properly.

3. Can braces still be an option for the senior adult?

Dentist: There is no age limit for correcting misaligned (crooked) teeth. The mechanical process used to move teeth is the same at any age. So the benefits of orthodontic treatments such as braces are available to both children and adults who wish to improve their appearance and bite. The main differences between treatments in adults and children is that certain corrections in adults may require more than braces alone and the treatments may take longer because adult bones are no longer growing.

4. Are seniors more at risk for oral cancer?

Dentist: Yes, the risk of oral cancer increases with age. Any lesion found on the tongue or anywhere in the mouth needs to be examined and closely watched. Smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages is associated with oral cancer.

5. Is there anything that can be done to make my loose teeth more secure?

Dentist: First, visit a Dentist, he will examine your condition, review your oral hygiene practices, and discuss your medical history. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, can contribute to the problem of loose teeth.

6. My dentures don't feel as comfortable as they once did. What should I do?

Dentist: First, never try to change the shape of your dentures yourself in the hopes of making them fit better. You can cause damage that will make the denture unrepairable.

Your gums and the bone supporting them changes shape as you age, so your dentures may begin to feel loose.

Because dentures are made to fit perfectly, if you do feel a looseness, chances are your dentures will need to be adjusted to make them fit properly again as your mouth shape changes. See your dentist as soon as possible. In an emergency, you may use a denture adhesive to keep your dentures stable until your appointment with your dentist.

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