Dentistry for Elderly
While you may not feel like a fine aged wine, a clear fact of life is that we all get older. As a person ages, it becomes increasingly more important that their dentist is experienced in treating an elderly population. This is because aging causes senior patients to develop dental problems that they might never have encountered before.
Older people end to develop darker teeth as their enamel this and the darker dentin becomes more obvious. Typically teeth darken because a person has enjoyed fine foods like wine, coffee, and chocolate.
This is one of the most common complaints elderly patients bring to Dr. Hagigi. Dry mouth in elderly patients is usually related to a medication they are taking, however, cancer treatment and biological factors could also play a part. We usually recommend our patients keep hard candy with them to enjoy and keep their mouth moist or carry water.
The decay of your roots can most commonly be associated with gum recession. As your gums recede the roots of your teeth are exposed and trigger the typical sensitive feeling people have when experiencing tooth sensitivity. Additionally, exposed roots lack protective enamel, which makes them more prone to decay and breakdown.
Poor Sense of Taste
Unfortunately, many diseases, medication, and simply aging can all affect how a person tastes. Dr. Hagigi can help pinpoint what the cause of your loss of taste is and develop a plan to either improve it, prevent future loss, or set expectations for what you might experience if the former two options aren’t for you.
Gum disease is caused when a person has excess plaque, however, it’s commonly found in patients with bridges and dentures. If these devices don’t fit properly, food particles tend to get stuck between them and your gums. This ultimately results in additional decay in the affected tooth and surrounding teeth.
This is one of the reasons we teach and stress good oral hygiene to all of our patients, including senior patients. Senior patients must use a fluoride toothpaste twice a day, floss, and visit us for two cleanings each year. This allows us to stay on top of any issues that might not otherwise be recognized and also stay updated on any health changes that might also affect their oral hygiene.
When senior patients come in for their cleaning they can expect to have their mouth and bite thoroughly examined, be inspected for oral lesions, which can indicate oral cancer, and have their neck and lymph nodes checked. We also check any appliances or prosthetics to make sure they fit well and do a thorough cleaning.