We Can Keep Our Teeth
Senior Dental Care
For older adults, dental problems often go untreated and can be the source of other health issues. Cost is the single biggest reason seniors do not go to the dentist for regular checkups and cleaning or even to treat discomfort and pain.
Physicians often overlook the state of teeth or gums when investigating other health problems even though prolonged inflammation is known to contribute to disease in the heart and other organs.
Causes of dental problems for seniors vary. Jerry D. Michel, School of Dentistry, University of Missouri, has written a helpful article on some of the changes that cause dental problems in older adults. >>More
The Consumer Guide to Dentistry identifies some problem areas for seniors:
"Dental care for seniors involves unique considerations. Seniors are more likely to suffer from a host of oral health issues resulting from the natural aging process, their inability to receive proper oral health care due to financial constraints (no dental insurance) or their inability to provide adequate dental hygiene care for themselves.
These factors, combined with the limited dental benefits provided by state aid programs for the aged, blind or disabled, leave many seniors at risk of ignoring tooth decay and tooth infection until there is no alternative but tooth extraction. This is the only dental procedure covered by Medicaid or Medicare." >>More
Pain in Teeth for Older Adults
We know that a sharp pain in a tooth is probably a cavity that needs to be filled. Seniors may experience tooth pain for different reasons. These could be an exposed root and/or sensitive teeth.
As we age, our skin becomes thinner and gums are part of that process. It is important for older adults to use softer toothbrushes because damage can result from over-aggressive brushing. Gum damage can also be the result of infection.
As the gums shrink, the root of the tooth can become exposed, causing pain. More
Senior Dental Problems
The Colgate website offers some advice on oral health just for seniors. There is a list of special dental problems seniors often have, including decay on the root surfaces of the teeth, sensitivity of teeth, dry mouth due to various medications can damage the teeth, and existing health conditions can affect oral health. More
Senior Gum Disease
"Gum Disease: A silent epidemic that affects millions of seniors" is an excellent article that says it all. Written by Jim Miller, author of "the Savvy Senior Books" the article discusses several surprising things that can cause gum disease for seniors. More
Thinking About Getting Dentures
If you are thinking about getting dentures, then the easy to read article on the pros and cons by Dr. Spiller is for you. >>More
To understand the different types of dentures available, the Canadian Dental Association offers a thoughtful article. >>More
Dentures Hurt or Don't Fit
After a period of time, the mouth begins to change and dentures may no longer fit correctly. They need to be adjusted or replaced to fit the changes in your mouth. >>More