Oral Health issues Seniors Face

As you get older, there are other oral health concerns that you should worry about.  Here, we’ll talk about the top health concerns that seniors have in terms of their oral health.

First is dry mouth. Or xerostomia, which is when you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth. When there isn’t enough, you may feel discomfort, to even major issues with cavities. it’s caused by medications that seniors take, and 90 percent over the age of 65 suffer from this, especially since infections, hormone changes, blocked nasal passages, and allergies happen too.

Then there is bad breath. This tends to happen a lot more since dry mouth occurs.  Bad dental hygiene is usually the cause, so you should brush twice daily and floss once a day, and make sure that you see a dentist. If you have dentures, make sure that you clean them. ‘

Tooth loss is the next one.  Patients over the age of 65 tend to only have 18.9 teeth on average remaining, with 27% having no remaining teeth. Bad oral hygiene and smoking are the most major reasons, and if you do lose them, see a dentist immediately to explore the options that will allow you to eat, talk, or even smile in a comfortable manner, including tooth implants. Cavities are the next.  Over time, it’s easier, so seniors are at a higher risk.  Foods high in sugar increase the chances, but limiting sugary foods and drinks, brushing, flossing and using a mouth rinse can prevent this as well.

Another common one is poor denture care. There is a myth that dentures are n’t as delicate as your regular teeth, so you don’t’ have to take care of them. But, dentures require just as much, if not more attention, and you should brush them in a regular manner to avoid discoloration and damage. Plaque can build up on dentures as other tooth places too, and it can irritate the gums, and lead to gum disses too. So, make sure that you remove the dentures after every meal and rinse them to eliminate food particles, and make sure to brush the dentures in the evening and let them sit in the cleaning solution, and brushing them with a soft-bristled brush will help keep them nice and healthy, along with being clean.

Then there is gum disease, the last major one. This is super common with older people, and while it can take years to develop, older people tend to experience this more than the younger ones do. The best way to prevent it is to practice good oral hygiene and visit the dentist on the regular so that you don’t have it develop into periodontitis.  Many people have to see a dentist, and about a quarter of people see them once every 2 years, and about 16% haven’t seen one in five years. don’t overlook this since you should know how important your dental care is, ad to take care of it.

Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes is a condition that impacts how your body controls the blood glucose levels. If you’ve got type I, your body doesn’t have enough insulin, which is what transports the sugar from the blood to the cells. If you have type II, your body doesn’t respond period, and in both cases, you’re going to have oral health issues.

Diabetes actually does impact your oral health in different ways. Those with diabetes have a dry mouth, and there is less saliva there than they usually have. Saliva is important to help with washing away food particles, along with acids. If you don’t produce enough, for example, these tend to settle into the mouth, so patients that have diabetes have a bigger chance of producing cavities, and dry mouth is linked to sores, infections, and even ulcers within the mouth. Diabetes can also slow the healing of wounds, so those that do have dental surgery suffer from a slower recovery period, and these patients are also more susceptible to infections, so proper care and treatment of this will help to minimize these risks.

Patients that have diabetes also have a higher risk of developing gum disease, whether it be periodontitis or even gingivitis. About 22 percent of those with diabetes also have periodontal disease, so if you have diabetes, you’re four times as likely to develop this than someone who doesn’t have it.  If you’re struggling to control the blood sugar levels, your risk will increase as well.  It does go both ways, and gum diseases may even impact how you can maintain stable blood sugar levels since gum disease does impact the bacteria that affects the gumline, which means it will inflame the gums and damage everything. Gum disease can give you pain, bad breath, bleeding, issues with chewing, and even tooth loss, and it can heal more slowly when treated, so you need to work with the dentist when there are obvious signs of it in order to prevent you from getting any further damage from happening.

Dental implants and bridges are a solution, but due to the issue of diabetes, it can make it much harder to get implants and bridges.  It doesn’t mean you can’t get this treatment, but your dentist will need to look at the options, since you need to have healthy gums, and with advanced gum disease and tooth loss, you definitely need to make sure you have that in place, and you need to have your blood sugar under control before you get dental surgery. If you do get one of these though, you’re also at a higher risk for infection, and the healing time can be longer.

So, if you have diabetes, and you have gum disease, you should talk to the dentist, and your physician and they will work together with you in order to manage this and have good dental health, since controlling the blood sugar is one of the biggest things to support dental health if you’ve got diabetes, so be vigilant about seeing the dentist, and work with your dentist for best results.

All About Impacted Teeth

Impacted teeth are those that are blocked when they’re pushed through the gumline and erupt. A common example of that is wisdom teeth. They usually surface in between the ages of 17 and 21. dentists will look at these and call them third molars. They may become impacted if there isn’t enough room within the mouth for them. Some also may come in sidewards, or tilted into the jaw. Impacted teeth might be painless, where you don’t even realize they’re there. Other times, if they come in, the flap of your gums may be swollen and infected. This can hurt, and you might feel pain in the other teeth, or in the ear or side of the face.  An impacted tooth, when not taken out, can lead to peritonitis, and if left untreated, this can spread to the throat and the neck, and it could cause a hospital stay and some surgery. Impacted teeth also can get cavities, and they can push these onto the other molars, and it can lead to tooth movement, gum disease, and also decay of not just that tooth but others, and it can change the way they come together. Some can even cause cysts and impacts within the jaw.

Typically, the symptoms include swelling of the gums and back area near the mouth, issues with opening the jaw, bad breath, bad tastes in the mouth, pain when opening the mouth, chewing, or biting, and this is a pain that can last for a long time, or it can be acute and then disappear and come back months later on.

The solution to this is simple. Your dentist will look at the area, and you may get some x-rays to look at which teeth are impacted. The symptoms will go away when the tooth leaves.  The truth of it is though, there is no way to prevent an impacted tooth, but you can prevent cavities on this via brushing and flossing.

Sometimes, if you can’t get in right away, you can relieve the irritation by rinsing with salt water that’s warm, and over-the-counter pain relievers do help. If it continues to cause pain, does have an infection, or interferes with the other teeth, usually, they gotta take it out. It can take anywhere from 5-30 minutes, and it might have an infection that might require antibiotics.

Typically, if you need help with this, a maxillofacial surgeon will help with this, and before it’s removed, the dentist will talk about the procedure, along with the types of sedatives and anesthesia that you’ll need to get. You won’t be able to eat for at least 6 hours before surgery, and you will need to keep on schedule with the medicine.

Usually, the surgery is fast, and while you may have some swelling and irritation, do follow your protocol and take your antibiotics, along with taking it slow the next few days as your teeth start to heal from the impact that this had there.

How Dentists Seal Teeth

Dental sealants are coatings made of plastic that are applied over the teeth that are at risk for decay, especially newly emerged molars or other areas. By sinking these into the fissures and pits of the teeth, the lines of the sealant will protect the teeth from the bacteria and acids that create cavities. It’s simple and painless, and here, we’ll tell you how it’s done.

First of all, it’s a single visit. To prepare the teeth, the dentists will remove any plaque and food debris that’s there, cleaning them with a brush and some pumice pace. They will dry and isolate these next, and they will use a gentle stream of air, and they’ll surround it with cotton rolls to prevent saliva from getting in. next, they etch it, and it will help create a good resin-based bond that bonds well with the surface. Each is applied, left on the tooth, and then go from there.

Next, the sealant is put on, and they rinse the area first, in order to isolate the area again with cotton rolls to dry it off. From there, the sealant is put on there. It’s a liquid that sets into a plastic film located on the tooth, and the hygienist will brush this onto the surface of the tooth, guiding it straight into fissures and pits. Sometimes, they are sealed in seconds, others require a UV light. If the sealant is placed under light, the dentist will sine it for up to 30 seconds. These usually last about several years, but they can be checked on the regular during visits, and they are not a substitute for good care and taking care of your teeth. By using a fluoride toothpaste, and flossing on the regular, you’ll be able to prevent cavities even without a sealant present.

Sometimes the dentist may seal this with glass isomers, which are different from the resin ones and require a different application. They stick to wet surfaces, so you won’t’ need to dry before you apply. The glass isomer sealants are the best for those teeth at are hard to isolate, such as those teeth that aren’t fully emerged from the gums. You won’t need to etch the surface when applying this, but instead, there is a conditioning agent used, and they may not even set it with a light, but sometimes they will use the blue light to reduce the time by a lot.

Usually, sealants are applied from age 6-12, but older kids and adults can also benefit from these, so it’s not a limited process. This also doesn’t cost a whole lot, and it’s over quite quickly. If you do think that this is for you, you can always talk to your dentist, and find out for sure whether or not you need them.

they’re a great procedure if you do have teeth that need to be further protected, and if you’re wondering whether you need it or not, you do.

Orthodontics for Children

If your child has teeth that are crooked, or a jaw bite that si wrong, you may need to see an orthodontist. An orthodontist is someone who uses brackets, bands, headgear wires, retainers, aligners, and the like to help.

Braces are used in many dental cases, since they can correct straightened teeth that are misaligned and fix the bite. They put pressure onto the teeth to put them in the right position.  You don’t need to get the metal option, but instead you can get stainless steel, ceramic, plastic, or a combo, and you can use these directly on the tooth’s service in order to bond them.

You typically can use these to give a clear, or even a toothlike appearance to them. The wires can also be made out of different materials as well, which can affect how long they stay on, and how many adjustments.

You can also get clear aligners, which straighten teeth without traditional wires or braces. The invisible trays may be good for some who don’t want to have them showing, since they are custom-made, clear, and you can remove them.  They gradually put pressure on the teeth to push them into position.

Then there are temporary anchorage devices, which are little screws that fix the bone in the mouth to apply force towards the teeth in order to create a better tooth control. They are becoming more common as of late.

Rubber bands are also used. they’re elastics, and are used when you need more force to move the jaws and the teeth into the right position. Headgear usually is attached to the braces from the back of where the head is, and can be removed.  Headgear is also used for more force, and typically is worn when sleeping.

Finally you’ve got a retainer, which is used when they’re removed to keep the teeth from shifting. Some are removable, others are fixed, and some are even customized.

So, can you see a dentist for orthodontic treatment? The answer is yes if it’s it’s minimal treatment, but if you want extensive work, see an orthodontist, since they have more advanced schooling past dental school, so if there are major changes which need to be had, consider getting this instead.

A child should see an orthodontist and get evaluated by the age of 7 for if they need treatment. They dan figure out problems with the growth of the jaw and the teeth. Most kids get treatment between ages 9-14.  you should try to correct these problems while a child is growing, because once they stop, it could end up taking way more time and work. 

Finally, the youngest a child can get braces depends.  If you can, you can get them as early as age 7, so that problems can stop developing. Those who get early orthodontics though usually will need later work in life, but it could be less if you finish the treatment early enough for the teeth to develop too.