Great Smiles in the Golden Years: Dental Care for Seniors

Mar 29, 2016 @ 12:46 PM — by drmori

An older woman smilingDr. Joseph T. Mormino is a leading dentist serving Staten Island, offering comprehensive general dentistry services with a focus on total health. He tailors every treatment and each visit to the needs of his patients.

With this in mind, let's look at the dental care need of elderly patients and what you can expect during your golden years.

Missing Teeth and Advanced Age

Tooth loss is common among elderly patients given the wear and tear on the teeth over the years. When tooth loss isn't treated for a long time, this can lead to serious issues with biting, chewing, speaking, and even overall facial aesthetics.

The most common treatment options for missing teeth are dental bridges and dentures. Some patients may be good candidates for dental implants, which are artificial tooth roots that are surgically embedded into the jawbone and gum tissue to support dental appliances.

Gum Recession as You Get Older

With advanced age, it's not uncommon to experience issues with gum recession. This may occur as a result of gum disease or even due to long-term tooth loss. Having healthy gums is crucial for long-term wellness.

Gum recession can be treated through soft tissue augmentation and gum grafting techniques, which help rebuild the missing tissue and enhance total wellness in the process.

Major Tooth Damage and Decay

Years of wear and tear on the teeth can take their toll, which is why many elderly patients experience issues with serious tooth damage and tooth decay. This sometimes leads to tooth loss as noted above, though it may simply result in seriously weakened teeth, as well as pain and discomfort when biting and chewing.

To address tooth damage and decay, various restorations can be used, such as fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns. The right restoration will depend on the extent of the tooth damage.

Problems with Jaw Joint Alignment

Over time, it's possible for various issues to affect the jaw joint, which is also known as the temporomandibular joint. This is one of the most complicated joints in the body given all the movements that must be made to speak, chew, and make facial expressions. Locking, popping, or other problems with this joint is known as a TMJ disorder.

There are many different treatments for TMJ disorders to consider depending on the cause of the joint dysfunction. These can be discussed during the consultation process.

Age-Related Dry Mouth

As you get older, issues with dry mouth become more and more common. This makes speaking, biting, and chewing more difficult, and it can also lead to issues with tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath as well.

Treating dry mouth typically means proper wellness, and sometimes the use of artificial saliva products. We can go over all of these matters in greater detail during your visit.

Concerns About Oral Cancer

Risk of oral cancers increase as a person gets older, which is why many dental visits for elderly patients tends to involve some form of cancer screening. We take great care in carefully checking lesions, sores, and other potential signs of cancer with each visit.

General Dentistry: Always Important

The basics are always important when it comes to dental wellness, which is why general dental care is always a part of optimal wellness, no matter what age you are. Prevention and patient education mean healthy smiles no matter what.

Speak with Dr. Joseph T. Mormino

To learn more about your dental care needs in your golden years and how we can help you have the best smile possible, be sure to contact our comprehensive dental care center today. Dr. Joseph T. Mormino will work with you to ensure that you receive the right dental treatments to meet your needs.

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