Preventative and Restorative Dentistry for Seniors
By William Stofer on May 22, 2015
As you have gotten older, you have probably taken extra steps to protect your health. You watch your diet, exercise regularly, and take dietary supplements. You are looking and feeling great! However, while you are working so hard to maintain your health, do not forget about your dental wellness. As a senior, you are at a higher risk for a number of oral health concerns. Fortunately, with care and guidance, you can maintain your healthy teeth and beautiful smile. Additionally, if problems do arise, we offer several restorative dentistry options that look and function like natural teeth. To learn more about dental care and seniors, contact our Warsaw practice today.
Senior Dental Health Concerns
As you get older, you are more likely to develop certain oral health problems. In particular, you and your dentist should watch out for:
- Gum disease: If pockets of bacteria build up in your gums, you will develop gum disease. Your immune system grows weaker with age. Therefore, you are more likely to develop periodontitis as a senior.
- Tooth loss: Losing teeth is no longer an inevitable part of aging. However, untreated gum disease often causes loose and/or missing teeth.
- Gum recession: Another consequence of periodontitis, gum recession can expose your dental roots, causing significant discomfort.
- Dry mouth: As you get older, you may have to take certain prescriptions that cause dry mouth. Alternatively, your salivary glands may simply stop producing as much liquid. With less saliva, bacteria can develop quickly, and you are more likely to develop gum disease.
- Dental erosion: Over the decades, constant use may have worn down your teeth. As a result, they may have small cracks or chips. Your shorter teeth may also affect the force of your bite, increasing your risk for TMJ disorder.
How to Prevent Dental Problems
General dentistry treatments can reduce your risk for gum disease and related concerns. The best way to protect your smile is through routine hygiene. Brushing and flossing at home is essential. You should brush at least twice daily, particularly after meals. In addition, as you get older, using antibacterial mouthwash is more important than ever. This will counteract the effects of a diminished immune system and keep your gums microbe-free. Of course, professional treatment is still essential. For optimal oral health, you should visit our office at least twice a year for a routine cleaning and exam. You may benefit from more frequent visits in your senior years, especially if you have been diagnosed with gum disease or if you are at a higher risk for these conditions.
Restorative Dentistry for Seniors
Preventative treatment can often keep your smile healthy well after you reach retirement. Nevertheless, problems can still occur. You may lose teeth, they may be damaged, or you may struggle with severe cosmetic blemishes. Fortunately, our restorative treatments are customized for each patient. We can provide you with a lifelike restoration that will reinstate your youthful smile and full dental function. Treatment options include:
- Crowns: A crown will encase your damaged tooth. It can strengthen the outer structure, cover a large cavity, or conceal a major cosmetic flaw, among other functions. We offer crowns made from tooth-colored porcelain, so they will blend with your smile.
- Bridges: A bridge is the traditional method of tooth replacement. This restoration will be made of several fused crowns, and it will attach to the nearby healthy teeth, literally bridging the gap in your smile. Like our crowns, our bridges are made from lifelike porcelain.
- Dental implants: In recent years, implants have largely surpassed bridges as the tooth replacement option of choice. These metal posts will support a permanent restoration that will never slip out of place. Unlike other types of restorations, dental implants can also prevent jawbone degeneration.
Find Out How We Can Protect Your Smile
Thanks to modern dental techniques and our personalized treatment, you can enjoy a beautiful, healthy grin for years to come. Contact us today to schedule a routine exam or to find out how our restorative treatments can benefit you.
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