Geriatric Oral health: Tips and Strategies
As we age, our dental needs often change, and it is important to prioritize oral care to maintain good overall health. While most of us are familiar with basic oral hygiene practices, geriatric patients often require specialized care to address the unique challenges that come with aging. This is where our geriatric dentist in Saint Louis can make a big difference. Geriatric dentistry, also known as gerodontics, is the branch of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of older adults. Geriatric dentists are specially trained to address the dental needs of older patients and age-related changes in our oral health. In this article, we will delve into some of the common oral issues geriatric patients face and possible treatment options for these conditions.
One of the most common issues that geriatric patients face is tooth loss. While losing teeth is a natural part of aging, it can also be a result of poor oral hygiene practices or untreated dental issues. Fortunately, there are several treatments that can help prevent tooth loss and restore a patient’s ability to bite and chew. Dentures and bridges are two of the most common treatments for missing teeth. However, they are not the only options available. Advances in dental implant technology have made it possible for geriatric patients to replace missing teeth with invisible aligners, which are natural-looking and functional replacements that can last a lifetime.
Gum disease often results from plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth and gums. This can lead to inflammation, bleeding, and even tooth loss if left untreated. A geriatric dentist in Saint Louis can help prevent and treat gum disease by performing a deep cleaning, called scaling and root planning. They may also offer personalized oral hygiene instructions. Additionally, a geriatric dentist can assess the patient’s overall health and if required refer them to a periodontist for advanced treatment.
Oral cancer is another concern for geriatric patients. This serious disease can manifest in several ways, such as sores that don’t heal, changes in the color or texture of the tongue or gums, or difficulty swallowing or speaking. A dentist can perform an oral cancer screening as part of a regular checkup, which can help detect the disease in its early stages when treatment is most effective. They can also refer to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment if required.
In addition to these more common issues, geriatric patients may also experience dry mouth, which is caused by a reduction in the production of saliva. This can make it difficult to eat, speak, and even swallow, and can also increase the risk of tooth decay. Treatment may involve using products such as artificial saliva to help alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth. A dentist may also recommend dietary modifications to manage dry mouth symptoms.
Expert geriatric dental care in Saint Louis
Are you or a loved one in need of a specialized geriatric dentist in Saint Louis, Mo? Look no further than Delmar Dental. Our skilled geriatric dentist and team provide personalized and compassionate care to ensure optimal oral health for our older patients. Don’t wait, schedule your appointment today!