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Senior Citizens at the Dentist

Many issues plague senior citizens when they visit the dentist. It is important to be aware of these before you head in.

The dentist who handles senior citizens is basically one who sees families and patients in general. There is actually no specific dental professional who exclusively sees people who are older or aged. Due to this, professionals who handle general cases can handle those of senior citizens just as well. Many of the issues that plague older patients may also be present with those in the younger age group as well.

Common Problems

Tooth decay and cavities are among the top issues that senior citizens are afflicted. These can cause some discomfort and pain that will intensify if left unattended. The dentist should be able to clean the decay and cavities thoroughly in order to apply a filling into it or a composite bonding material. The filling or the bonding will make sure that the tooth is in good shape and can function well. Some decayed teeth may need to be extracted or reshaped to accommodate a crown or a bridge. Brushing thoroughly and flossing after brushing can help to maintain the good condition of the oral cavity and teeth. The dental professional can recommend a good toothpaste and floss for the senior citizens. Another common problem that arises in an older person is the maintenance of their dentures. While they make their lives easier, good maintenance is necessary to ensure that the oral cavity is also in good health. The general practitioner can recommend a special dentist who can fit dentures to the older individual. The fit needs to be right in order for it to be comfortable and for it to last long.

Gum disease is a pervasive oral problem in those over 65. As we grow older, we become more prone to this and it can happen to anybody. There are several factors that can contribute to gum disease and these include, but are not limited to, smoking, other diseases like diabetes, consistently bad diet choices and poor oral hygiene. The earlier gum disease is stopped, the better it can be prevented from coming back. Having a constantly dry mouth is also another problem that can bother a senior citizen. Some medicines and conditions can cause this and it is best to bring it to the attention of a qualified dentist. He or she can recommend how to treat this condition and how to prevent it. Sensitive teeth and gums can also be more pronounced at an advanced age. There are medicines and treatments available for these conditions. Gum sensitivity and receding or bleeding gums can be signs of gum disease. Another possible cause of a sensitive tooth may be a fracture or a break that has gone unnoticed. Having dental appliances and other devices in the oral cavity can also contribute to sensitive teeth and gums. It is best to bring any sensitivity to the attention of the dentist so he or she can check this out to make sure that all is well and if there are any underlying conditions causing this.

Article Tags: Senior Citizens, Oral Cavity

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

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