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Older Adults Have New Care Challenges

February 26, 2024

Aging bodies go through various changes, and oral health is no exception. It’s also no surprise. By age 21, the average person has all of his (or her) permanent teeth, which he’s expected to keep for the rest of his life. Caring for aging teeth involves recognizing and addressing the tasks and care they need. 

Choosing a dental practice is a significant decision. The office of North Georgia Smiles boasts a team of highly experienced and skilled professionals who provide top-notch dental care to patients of every age.

There are lots of ways to help keep your teeth in good shape as the years pass. The most important tactic is to get regular dental checkups. You used to see a dentist every six months; now make it every four months. Your teeth and oral cavity are more susceptible to gum disease, shifting teeth, tooth decay and oral cancer.

Older adults’ teeth and gums can become sensitive. Seniors may also have physical problems with their hands, such as arthritis or nerve damage, that make effective brushing and flossing a challenge. A self-powered toothbrush, toothpaste for sensitive teeth and floss holders can be huge helps.

Folks with snap-ins and partials must clean them well to prevent bacterial growth and irritation. For those with full dentures, the soft tissues and bones of your jaw can change since your initial fitting. The alternations can cause ulcers, irritation, fungal infections and overgrown oral tissue. To maintain the health of your gums and bones, replace or reline your dentures every five to 10 years. 

Many older adults take medications for a variety of health conditions. Some of those meds cause side effects such as dry mouth (it increases the risk of cavities and gum disease) or changes in taste. Regular visits to a dentist help identify and address any medication-related issues that affect oral health.

Senior citizens are at an increased risk of oral cancer, especially if they have a history of heavy drinking or with smoking or chewing tobacco. Oral cancer screenings during routine dental checkups are central to early detection and improved treatment outcomes.

By prioritizing oral health, older adults can enjoy a higher quality of life and maintain their natural teeth for as long as possible. North Georgia Smiles offers a comprehensive range of dental services for patients of all ages. Please call us today to schedule an appointment.