Every human old enough to have teeth in their mouth should be visiting the dentist for routine cleanups and an examination twice per year, but dental care is especially important for people over the age of 65. At that age, teeth not only have a lot of miles on them, but senior citizens also are more prone to a condition called dry mouth, a common side effect for medications that reduces the amount of saliva in the mouth and makes it easier to grow bacteria there.
Here at Dr. Pete’s office, we do great work with our senior patients, ensuring that they get the best dental care possible—from cleanings to dentures and even dental implant procedures in Bingham Farms. We take great care of senior patients, but we can only do that if those senior patients find their way to our building. And why is that so important? The following is a look at several reasons why senior dental care is so essential.
#1 Tooth Decay
One of the things dry mouth can cause is tooth decay because more bacteria means more plaque. That means increased risk for cavities. Dry mouth often is a side effect of certain medications for depression, asthma, and high blood pressure, but Dr. Pete can help mitigate those side effects by keeping an eye out for tooth decay.
#2 Periodontitis (Gum Disease)
Nearly two-thirds of all seniors suffer from some sort of gum disease, and while the milder symptoms can include swelling and bleeding, the worst symptoms can be the loss of a senior’s teeth. Proper dental care and biannual visits with Dr. Pete can help prevent this.
#3 Tooth Loss
According to the CDC, approximately one in five seniors has lost all their teeth. Not only does this impact the way a person looks, but it also can impact the way a person eats and even the quality of their nutrition.
#4 Heart Disease
Sometimes, gum disease can be a precursor to heart disease, and it also can exacerbate existing heart conditions. Keeping gums healthy can lower the risk of more serious heart problems down the road.
Older adults are at higher risk for most cancers, and that includes oral cancer. For those who have smoked cigarettes and chewed tobacco, the risk is even greater, and a dentist can help find early warning signs before the cancer spreads or does its worse on your mouth, cheeks, and lips.
Seniors with problems regulating blood sugar are at increased risk of gum disease, as an excess of glucose makes it easier for bacteria to exist in your mouth. That just means it’s even more important for your dentist to keep an eye on your mouth if you’re diabetic.
Senior Dentistry at Perfecting Your Smile
One of the best ways to prevent these problems is to schedule regular appointments for senior patients. This keeps their teeth as clean as possible and allows Dr. Pete to stay on the lookout for any tell-tale signs of major dental problems and other health issues. For those seniors in need of anything from general dentistry to sedation dentistry in Bingham Farms, give us a call to help us ensure your teeth look and function great well into your golden years.