As you age, your dental needs change. Your mouth and jaw shape change with age due to natural tissue thinning and loss of bone, which can reshape the formation of your teeth. Furthermore, you may be at higher risk of gum disease due to your age alone.
If you take certain medications or have some medical conditions, your dental needs also increase, since some illnesses, such as diabetes, can affect your oral health. Here are dental care services you need as an older patient that you need to talk to your dentist about.
A periodontal cleaning is a more thorough, deeper cleaning than a traditional checkup cleaning. This is a cleaning done on patients who have gingivitis or the more serious periodontal disease. This cleaning involves going deep under the gums to remove plaque and tartar that are irritating the gums and causing infection.
If your gums are swollen, discolored, bleed when you brush your teeth, or are painful to the touch, then you may have gum disease. The sooner you address this situation and receive treatment, the better for your overall dental health.
Jaw bone X-rays
Since your jaw bone is important to your oral health in keeping your teeth in place, you want to get an X-ray determining the health of your jaws when you get older. Your bone density naturally declines with age, which means your jaw bone loses fullness as a result. If your teeth appear longer than usual, have spaces near the gum line, or if your jaw bone aches or your teeth feel loose, talk to your dentist right away.
Dentures or dental implants
The people who have the least amount of their natural teeth are the elderly. Tooth loss is commonly caused by poor oral hygiene and gum disease, but is also a byproduct of aging. While losing a few teeth throughout your life is not a major concern, especially if the teeth you've had pulled or lost are in the back, if you fear losing teeth in the front of your mouth, talk to your dentist about alternative oral solutions.
You can get dentures if your teeth are severely damaged and need to come out. Or, you can get dental implants, which are placed in your jaw bone, to give you a more permanent, attractive smile. Both of these options can be discussed in greater detail with your dentist at your next appointment. Continue receiving regular dental treatments as recommended by your dentist.