Dentistry for Senior Citizens:
Dr. Nugent understands that dental care needs change with age. Many seniors may need more restorative dental care and more frequent dental cleanings due to dry mouth, side effects of medications, systemic diseases, and lack of manual dexterity to brush teeth properly. Elderly dental patients often suffer dental pain that can be prevented by regular dental visits.
Dr. Nugent cares for elderly patients with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Appointments are never rushed and Dr. Nugent takes the time to explain how modern dentistry can easily solve problems that were not available in the past. A healthy and nourishing diet relies on the ability to chew a wide variety of foods.
Oral Health Changes in Seniors:
- Dry Mouth is caused by a decrease in saliva flow. This reduction of saliva can be the result of diseases, cancer radiation treatment, and the side effects of prescription medicine. Also, as we age the fluid content of saliva decreases while the mucus content increases. Saliva is very important to the overall oral health because it washes away food and bacteria and it helps buffer the acid from bacteria.
- Root Carries (Decay) is decay along the root surface of teeth. The root is exposed due to recession of the gum tissue. Root Carries is an aggressive and rapid form of decay. The root structure is not as hard as the top enamel layer of the tooth. Therefore, when the root starts to decay, the decay is very rapid.
- Gum Disease is caused by plaque and bacteria. Gum disease is much worse with ill-fitting dentures, tobacco use, and poor diets. Also, some diseases like anemia, cancer, and diabetes can accelerate gum disease. Gum disease is the leading factor of tooth loss.
- Thrush is an overgrowth of the fungus Candida Albicans in the mouth. Diseases and drugs that affect the immune system bring about the fungus infection.
- Darkened teeth are the results of many years of stains.
- Burning Mouth is a common, but very complex, condition that feels like your mouth, lips, throat, and tongue is burning. Although the etiology of Burning Mouth is unknown there are several contributing factors that Dr. Nugent can evaluate and correct.
Oral Hygiene tips for Senior Citizens
Seniors must continue to be diligent and brush their teeth three times a day with fluoride toothpaste. Also, flossing at least once a day and using mouth washes help prevent dental problems.
Fluoride is a great way to prevent cavities in senior citizens. Dr. Nugent will often have patients on a special fluoride regimen to combat cavities. Prevention of cavities is easier and less expensive than repairing cavities.
Arthritis can make holding and using a toothbrush difficult. Dr. Nugent likes Senior Citizens to have electric toothbrushes because they are easier to hold and the mechanical cleaning from electric toothbrushes is amazing.
Dental care for elderly patient involves special considerations. Often seniors put off dental care because of limited or fixed incomes, other medical problems, and limited access to transportation.
Many elderly patients believe they do not need to visit the dentist until they develop a dental pain, chewing difficulties, or suffer from social embarrassment. This line of thinking is wrong and very dangerous to the patient’s oral health. Excellent oral health must remain an important part of a general health routine for seniors.
Dr. Nugent is a leader in geriatric dentistry. Dr. Nugent allots special time for elderly patients in order to provide them with quality dental care.
The Importance of Dental Visits
Regular dental check-ups are vital in maintaining good oral health. Your visits to Dr. Nugent allow your teeth to get professionally cleaned and examined. At each visit, oral cancer screenings are performed.
Brushing is not enough
Brushing, flossing, and mouth rinses are vital to good oral hygiene. However, everyone needs help removing plaque and tartar from their teeth. Plaque and tartar are irritants to the gum tissue and bone and accelerate periodontal (gum) disease.
Oral Cancer screening
Dr. Nugent and the hygienist also look for other health problems, like oral cancer, during dental exams. Cancer is always easier to treat if caught early. Call our Pasadena Texas Dental Office if you have any sores, swellings or discolorations. The possibility of developing oral cancer increases greatly after fifty years of age.
Am I too old to improve my smile?
Dr. Nugent does cosmetic smile makeovers for all ages. Seniors can often get a rejuvenating white smile with simple and inexpensive custom teeth whitening (teeth bleaching) from our office.
I already wear dentures. Do I need to visit Dr. Nugent?
Professional cleaning of your dentures is vital to remove stains and plaque that build up and irritate your gum tissue. Plus, it allows Dr. Nugent to examine the fit of your dentures to insure proper function. Your dentures were made with accurate mouth impressions. However, over time bone and gum tissue is lost causing dentures to become loose, rub on gum tissue, and become unstable. If you have unstable dentures, Dr. Nugent can realign them to make them more secure. For the ultimate in stability, Dr. Nugent can utilize dental implants to lock dentures into place.
I hate how my dentures fit; they always move. How can Dr. Nugent help me?
Old fashioned denture design relies on plastic dentures resting on gum tissue. Even at rest there is gravity, cheek and tongue muscles trying to dislodge the dentures. During eating and speech there are more forces trying to dislodge the dentures. Dr. Nugent can make dentures that snap into place and are held in by dental implants. Also, old dentures can be converted into implant dentures. With the secure foundation of dental implants, dentures do not move and patients are able to talk and eat without worrying if the denture is going to come out. Patients tell Dr. Nugent that after he completes their implant dentures they enjoy the foods they love because they are not restricted to soft foods. Patients no longer have to worry about loose dentures. You deserve the best of what modern implant dentistry can provide for you. With dental implant dentures you can say goodbye to loose dentures and sore spots