Addressing Dental Concerns in Senior Citizens and the Elderly


Senior citizens have a number of dental and oral concerns that many take for granted. Most simply dismiss them as part of old age, but it is important to understand these concerns and the long-term effects if not addressed. Good oral care must continue for older people as issues in this area can ultimately affect the way senior citizens speak, chew and swallow food as well as the way they look in general.

Tooth Loss in Senior Citizens

Tooth loss during one's lifespan is brought about by different causes. Tooth decay plays a major role in it as well as gum disease; however, tooth loss for most senior citizens is usually brought about by neglected teeth along with poor oral health. Wear and tear on one's tooth fillings can contribute to increased tooth decay around crowns and fillings. This is why it is important to have dental checkups at least every six months especially during your senior years.

Issues with Dentures

Over the years, although we may be unaware of it, our mouths undergo changes. Changes occur in the bone structure, gums and tissues that will ultimate affect the fitting of your dentures. Since these changes are gradual, they goes unnoticed by most people but may result in an improper fit that will cause issues when one tries chewing, biting, and speaking. Just keeping the dentures in one's mouth may become a major problem. To keep fit from becoming an issue, senior citizens with dentures should be sure to schedule periodic check ups with their dentist.

Mouth Dryness

Most people would not associate drying of the mouth with old age but some senior citizens experience this because of the inability of the salivary glands to produce enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. This can be attributed to different things such as taking medication over an extended amount of time during one's life. Without the protection of saliva, the mouth becomes more prone to infections. Likewise, tooth decay and gum inflammation may occur. Without ample saliva, chewing, swallowing, and even speaking becomes harder. To keep such a problem in check, your dentist can become a wonderful resource to help alleviate complications that may result from this issue ensuring better quality of life in those senior years.

About the Author

Restorative dentistry can repair the functionality of your smile through the use of dental implants, porcelain and ceramic crowns, and dentures. A qualified Charleston cosmetic dentist can evaluate your teeth and can recommend the best procedures to restore your smile.