As we age, our dental care routines and oral hygiene needs can change. According to the CDC, many older Americans lack proper dental care once they retire and lose health coverage benefits. However, our team at Dobson Ranch Dental Care understands that senior dental care is essential, and we’re here to provide ongoing support and service, even after retirement. That’s why we’ve put together this guide of some of the most common health concerns we see in our senior patients.
1. DARKENED TEETH
Our teeth age with the rest of our bodies. Years of consuming acidic, stain-causing foods, and beverages can lead to the darkening of teeth. This discoloring is often caused by a change in the dentin, which is the bone-like tissue below the enamel. Enamel is one part of the body that doesn’t grow back, so once it’s gone or damaged, it can’t be repaired, leaving many seniors with dark or yellow-stained teeth. However, a darkened tooth could also be a sign of a more serious dental health concern, so it should be examined by your dentist.
2. DRY MOUTH
A reduction in saliva is not an uncommon sign of aging. For many seniors, it’s often a side effect of certain medications. However, a lack of saliva in the mouth can lead to more bacteria, cavities, and bad breath. Without saliva, sugars and acids found in foods and beverages are allowed to build up in the mouth and around the gumline. A dry mouth can also lead to dry lips and a swollen tongue, making speech difficult. If you’re over the age of 65 and are experiencing dry mouth symptoms, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day and avoid any sugary and acidic foods and beverages. You might also try chewing gum or lozenges to help stimulate saliva production.
3. UNEVEN JAWBONE
Untreated tooth decay or loss can result in an uneven jawbone. A typical dental concern for many seniors is tooth loss, especially in molars where cavities like to grow. When a tooth is lost and not replaced by your dentist, your other teeth can shift and drift into the open spaces, resulting in an uneven jawbone. This unevenness can make it hard to chew and may cause headaches and tight jaw. As a senior trying to enjoy retirement, the last thing you want holding you back is an uneven jaw. Consult with your dentist to determine a treatment plan to replace missing teeth with implants or bridges.
SENIOR DENTAL CARE THAT SUITS YOU
The senior residents in Mesa, AZ, trust the Dobson Ranch Dental Care team with all of their oral health concerns and needs. We’re now accepting new patients, so if you’re ready to continue your dental care into retirement, contact us today at (480) 838-8558.