Dental Care for Seniors
As we age, a variety of factors begin to affect our oral health. These factors can range from arthritis and certain medications to missing teeth which need to be replaced. Dr. Art Carpenter offers dental care for seniors at our practice in Kenilworth, IL. We can tailor our services to your unique needs to restore and defend your oral health. Our team can also give you recommendations on ways to adjust your oral hygiene routine at home to protect your smile between visits.
Seniors Face Unique Risks
Advancing age can make you vulnerable to a range of oral health concerns, including:
- Dry mouth
- Root decay
- Darkened teeth
- Tooth loss
- Loss of taste
- Uneven jawbone
- Tooth sensitivity
Seniors have a higher risk of developing gum disease, which can result from poor oral hygiene, improper diet, and diseases such as diabetes. Older patients are also more likely to develop thrush, a fungal disease which can cause ulcers and other sores to appear throughout your mouth.
Medications and Other Causes
Many of these issues are not necessarily caused by age, but rather by associated medical conditions. Arthritis, for example, can make brushing and flossing more difficult or even impossible. In addition, a wide range of medications can affect your oral health, causing dry mouth, gum recession, and other concerns.
Senior Dental Exams
When you come into our office for an appointment, Dr. Carpenter will take your medical history and perform a comprehensive dental exam. Be prepared to answer questions about your dental history, as well as the medications you take and other medical conditions.
It is important to discuss your medical history with Dr. Carpenter during your appointment to ensure they understand your unique background.
During the exam, Dr. Carpenter will thoroughly check your teeth, gums, tongue, and other surfaces inside your mouth, as well as your face and neck. If you wear dentures or another dental appliance, the doctor will examine the device and check for any resulting irritation. Ill-fitting restorations can cause and exacerbate issues such as thinning gum tissue, so it is important to schedule regular exams for this reason alone.
Maintaining Your Oral Hygiene between Visits
It is very important to maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine, especially for patients who deal with issues such as gum disease and other chronic conditions.
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing daily
- Rinsing with antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day
- Taking proper care of dental appliances, such as dentures
- Scheduling regular cleanings and exams
There are a variety of techniques which can assist with oral hygiene for those with reduced dexterity. If you struggle with brushing or flossing, for example, ask our team about ways to make the process easier.
Keep an Eye out for Warning Signs
There are certain warning signs you can look out for which indicate you may need to make an appointment.
- Dental sensitivity
- Grinding your teeth
- Sores or bumps in your mouth
- Popping or clicking in your jaw
- Loose teeth
- Difficulty quenching your thirst
- Problems chewing or swallowing
If you have noticed any of these symptoms, notify our team so you can receive the prompt treatment you need.
Keep Your Smile Healthy
Your oral health is closely connected to your overall health. Learn more about our specialized dental services for seniors by contacting our team online or calling (847) 251-5004 today.