Dental Care for Older Adults at Stephens Dentistry
Last month we began a four-part series of blog posts dealing with the particular oral health problems and needs of our senior citizens. This month we continue that series with a look at some of the more common dental problems faced by adult seniors.
A number of factors often put seniors at higher risk for oral health problems. These include the failure to maintain good oral hygiene, medical conditions and medications, and the lack of professional dental care, often because of limited income and/or the absence of dental insurance.
If you are a senior citizen, or you are the caregiver for a senior, you should keep a watchful eye out for some of the more common dental issues affecting older adults.
Common Dental Problems for Seniors
Commonly known as cavities, tooth decay occurs when the enamel of teeth wears away, leaving them exposed to damage. Failure to treat cavities when they are small can lead to serious dental issues as the decay spreads, affecting multiple layers of the teeth.
Periodontal (gum) disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums, something that commonly occurs when seniors fail to get regular professional dental care. In addition, poor nutrition can also contribute to gum disease. Symptoms will often include sore, swollen, painful, and bleeding gums.
This often occurs when a lifetime of poor dental hygiene causes irreversible damage to the root of the tooth. On occasion, removal is necessary to remove a painful and badly decayed or damaged tooth.
For seniors, painful sores in the mouth can have a number of causes. Dry mouth, certain medications, and infections can all contribute to this issue, and diabetes can complicate matters by making wound healing more difficult.
This affliction usually shows up as sores that don’t heal, especially on the tongue, gums, or cheeks. About 48% of those diagnosed with some form of oral cancer are 65 or older, and poor nutrition, a lifetime of smoking or the use of smokeless tobacco, and the long-time consumption of alcohol are all contributing factors to oral cancer among older adults.
Comprehensive Dental Care for Seniors at Stephens Dentistry
Whatever your age may be, at Stephens Dentistry our goal is to do all we can to promote your dental health. We also know that as people age their dental needs change, and if you are the caregiver for an older person, finding compassionate dental care for them should be one of your primary concerns.
That kind of care, using the latest technology and methods to make dentistry as comfortable, efficient, and inclusive as possible, is what we provide at Stephens Dentistry. If you are a senior looking for dental care or you’re a caregiver seeking dental care for a loved one, we invite you to contact our clinic to schedule your initial consultation.
We accept payment from a large number of dental plans, and we offer a variety of finance options to conform to your budget. We never want dollars to stand in the way of the dental care you need!
Please don’t hesitate. Contact Stephens Dentistry today to schedule your initial consultation and become a member of our dental family.