Pasadena Senior Citizen Dentist | Geriatric Dentist | Elderly



Gum Loss and Tooth Decay in Senior Citizens Patients

A vast majority of senior citizens have tooth-root decay or periodontal disease (gum disease). It is estimated that 25% of Americans over the age of 65 have lost all their teeth. Dr. Nugent treats senior citizens in his Pasadena, Texas Dental Office. Dr. Nugent believes that dental education and preventative dental care can help Pasadena Senior Citizens keep their teeth throughout life.

Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)

There are several risk factors that make senior citizens more susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal disease:

  • Recession of the gum tissue that exposes the root surface. The root surface decays much more rapidly than the crown of the tooth.
  • Medications can cause side effects such as dry mouth.
  • Reduced salivary flow.
  • Saliva is less watery and more mucous filled in older individuals.
  • Memory problems resulting in a lack of daily dental hygiene.
  • Arthritis preventing proper brushing and flossing.


Gum Disease Symptoms

Gum disease treatment becomes more challenging as the problem worsens. The sooner you get gum disease detected, the greater your chances of curing it.

There are various indicators to look out for that will alert you to the possibility of gum disease.

Gum disease symptoms include:

  • Gums that are swollen or red.
  • Bleeding gums, especially with brushing.
  • Poor breath.
  • Teeth that are loose.
  • Teeth that are sensitive.
  • The gum line is retreating.
  • Chewing causes pain.

If you have any of these symptoms, you should consult our Pasadena, Texas Dental Office.

Gum disease progresses slowly. If you’re not careful with your habits, you could be creating an environment that encourages gum disease. If you do the following, you increase your chances of having gum disease as you become older:

  • Forget to floss on a daily basis.
  • Smoke.
  • Brush your teeth no more than twice a day.
  • Use ineffective brushing and flossing practices.
  • Consume insufficient amounts of vitamin C.
  • Use an overly hard toothbrush.

Changing your habits in these areas can result in improved oral health. This is especially crucial for the elderly. Poor dental health affects more than just your teeth. It may also have an effect on other sections of your body.

The Risks of Gum Disease in Seniors

If left untreated, gum disease can cause bone loss around the teeth. As a result, gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss. Seniors who have lost some or all of their teeth may confront a variety of difficulties. Although there are several choices for replacing missing teeth, such as implants and dentures, they can be expensive and possibly unpleasant treatments. Taking good care of your teeth is the best method to keep your ability to eat, speak, and smile comfortably.

Gum disease is also linked to a variety of other health issues. If your immune system is compromised, bacteria in your mouth can spread to other parts of your body, increasing your risk of heart disease or stroke. In some circumstances, dental infection can lead to infection of the heart’s lining. If you have diabetes, gum disease will aggravate the problem.

Methods to Reduce Your Risk of Gum Disease

Visit your dentist at least twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings. If you already have gingivitis, you may need to see your dentist for a cleaning every three to four months. Regular cleanings and checkups enable your hygienist and dentist to thoroughly clear plaque and tartar from your teeth, lowering your risk of gum disease. Floss your teeth on a regular basis to clean the spaces between your teeth, as plaque can easily become caught in between your teeth, leading to oral health issues such as gum disease. If you have difficulty using floss, inform your dentist, and they will be able to propose alternatives.


Watch for more Pasadena Texas Senior Citizen Blog articles coming soon from Pasadena Texas Dentist Michael Nugent DDS. Dr. Nugent’s office is located at 3421 Burke Rd Ste A, Pasadena, Texas. Dr. Nugent sees children, teenagers, adults and senior citizens. Dr. Nugent helps patients from Pasadena, Deer Park, La Porte, League City, Clear Lake, Friendswood, Webster, Pearland and Houston Texas. Dr. Nugent was voted BEST PASADENA DENTIST 2010 and BEST PASADENA DENTIST 2011.