Why Every Senior Should Be Visiting A Dentist: Dental Problems That Come With Age

Dentist Blog

If you're a senior adult who hasn't visited the dentist in quite some time, it can be easy to just "let it slide." If you don't have any issues you know of, why bother? Unfortunately, there are a number of dental issues that come with age. Here's a look at some of the conditions you're a little more at risk for as you get older.

  • Darkened or stained teeth: Over the years, the enamel on your teeth starts to wear thin, showing the dentin underneath. Partially because that dentin is showing through, and partially because you have a lifetime of food and beverages that have crossed your teeth, expect some discoloration or staining.
  • Dry mouth: It's an unfortunate fact, but many seniors are on a number of medications. Many pills can cause the saliva in the mouth to dry up, as can certain diseases. With a dry mouth, you're more susceptible to gum disease and gingivitis.
  • Gum disease: A number of things can cause gum disease, including leftover food, prolonged tobacco usage, bridges and dentures that aren't fitting well, and certain diseases like diabetes. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss.
  • An uneven jawbone: This occurs when you lose a tooth, and don't have that tooth replaced. For a variety of reasons, many seniors have went years with missing teeth. When there's an open gap in your teeth, the teeth nearby can shift into the open space, often leading to a jawbone that doesn't line up properly.
  • Stomatitis: Stomatitis is a general term for an inflamed and sore mouth. It can be caused by dentures that don't fit correctly, a prolonged poor diet, or incorrect dental hygiene, or by a buildup of a fungus called "Candida albicans," which is inflammation of the mouth right under your dentures. Your ability to talk, eat, and even sleep can all be disrupted by stomatitis. 

As a senior, it would be easy to see this long list of potential problems, and quickly become too scared to even bother with going to the dentist. But that's an even greater reason to go. You very likely would only be dealing with a few of these issues, all of which are correctable. Age by itself isn't necessarily a sole determining factor in these issues, but it does play a part. Some of these conditions simply come over time, and some develop because it gets tough to take care of your teeth as you age thanks to reduced  mobility in your hands.

Whatever the case though, the best way to deal with these problems is to make sure you're seeing a dentist regularly. Whatever your problems are, just know that it's probably not the worst case the dentist has ever see. Dealing with these issues in the right way will have you on the track to a pain free mouth in no time. Talk to a dentist like Dynamic Dental Care Bryan Friedland, DMD for more information.


24 March 2015

Getting Your Toddler to the Dentist Once and For All

Toddlers should see a dentist for the first time by the age of twelve months or by the time their first tooth comes in. But if you are a parent with toddlers anything like mine, the prospect of going to the dentist (let alone anywhere!) can be pretty intimidating. My kids were a handful growing up. They had tantrums any time we would have to sit in a waiting room, and they refused to get in the dentist's chair during their first few visits. So, I had to employ a professional to help me make the transition to finally getting them in that dental chair without all the screaming and crying. I know I'm not the only parent in this situation, so I decided to share the information I've learned with others who can use a little help. You can find all my advice right here on these pages!