HomeOral & Dental HealthSenior Dental Care and the Role of Family Dentistry

Senior Dental Care and the Role of Family Dentistry

Taking care of your teeth and gums is vital at any age, but there are unique challenges that seniors face that can make the process more complicated. In addition, many elderly people suffer from health conditions that may have an impact on their oral health. As a result, it is important for senior citizens to adopt good dental habits and visit their family dentist regularly.

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy in retirement is essential to maintaining your overall health, as bacteria that collects inside the mouth can spread throughout the body, potentially causing or accelerating diseases such as respiratory infections, heart disease, diabetes, and more. A common myth is that oral health problems like gum disease and tooth decay are inevitable in the senior years, but this couldn’t be more untrue. With the proper routine care and treatment, these issues can be managed with ease.

A comprehensive dental plan for seniors will include routine visits and cleanings, as well as an examination of the oral cavity and other areas of the mouth. These appointments help remove plaque and tartar that regular brushing and flossing miss, preventing gum disease and tooth decay. It is also essential for senior citizens to seek treatment for recurring dental problems, such as root canal therapy for damaged or infected teeth and denture repairs.

Elderly patients may also require special dental treatments, such as a bridge or implant for missing teeth. A skilled dentist for the elderly can ensure these services are completed efficiently and with minimal discomfort. For example, for a senior who experiences crowded teeth, the best dentist in Torrance can provide specialized dental tools to relieve pressure and friction on the affected areas.

Many seniors suffer from a variety of oral health complications as they age, including dry mouth. This condition can be caused by certain health conditions, as well as some medications, such as antidepressants and steroids. It can lead to a loss of taste and salivation, as well as increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Fortunately, a dentist for the elderly can recommend mouth rinses and dentrifices that encourage salivary flow and reduce the symptoms of dry mouth.

Many senior patients also have other medical concerns that affect their dental health, including diabetes and hypertension. A good dentist for the elderly will be able to coordinate treatment with other health providers to help minimize the effects on the patient’s oral and general health. In addition, they will help their patients understand how their other healthcare needs can impact their oral health and will recommend ways to manage those impacts, such as the use of a humidifier or limiting caffeinated drinks. For those who are not covered by dental insurance, there are also senior dental savings plans that allow them to save on preventative procedures. These are often more flexible than traditional dental insurance, which can have annual limits and exclusions that limit the scope of care they cover.