• Dental Health in Your 60s: What to Expect

    on Feb 5th, 2018

We can work with you as you age. By age 65, periodontal disease, root and coronal decay, cavities, and dry mouth (caused by over 500 medications) are all conditions associated with this phase of aging, according to the American Dental Association. The risk for being disabled, homebound or in a nursing facility also change your ability to keep your mouth and gums in optimal condition. 

With age comes a possible sensitivity to anesthesia and drugs—including the ones used at the dentist’s office. If arthritis sets in, you may have difficulty gripping and carrying things in the same way. For our purposes, modifications should be set up so that you can still effectively use your toothbrush and dental floss regularly. You may also need dental implants or dentures at this time.

Periodontal disease

The CDC reports that older adults may have higher rates of tooth decay than children and cavities and gum disease are the main culprits. Your critical gum tissues and bones supporting the teeth will deteriorate with this chronic inflammatory disease. Left unchecked, it leads to tooth loss and considerable pain, and research shows that the risk for Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cardiovascular disease will increase.

Decay

You may not realize your teeth and gums have decayed since it usually may not hurt in your mouth until serious damage has set in. With aging comes changes to the tooth surfaces, which become worn down. The roots may be more exposed, too. Pockets at the gum near the root may develop, which allows food and plaque to linger. When your teeth become softer, that also ups the chance for plaque and infection to grow.

Medicine and dry mouth

Bring a full list of your supplements and medications, and be sure to let us know if you have any new illnesses or health conditions.

Over 500 medications increase dryness in the mouth, which can lead to surprise cavities or increased plaque levels. Changing your toothpaste, drinking more water and eating fewer sugary foods (and drinks) can all remedy dry mouth. Applying a varnish is another way your dentist can help you.

Gripping issues

Modifying your toothbrush with Velcro or a different fix are great options. Getting an electric toothbrush is another change for when you are having trouble gripping things. There are many floss holders and “pick style” flossers for flossing. 

Check up

Booking a dental checkup includes a full cleaning and x-rays, which helps the dental staff determine if you have periodontal disease, sensitive gums, cavities, decay in the gums or teeth, as well as built up plaque in the form of gingivitis. We can also show you the ins and outs of proper flossing and brushing, to keep your smile looking good.

 

Dr. Amores can help you come up with a plan to keep your smile at its best.

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