Essential Dental Services for Seniors

Posted on: 4 April 2022

As your parents age, their teeth naturally become prone to discolouration and weakening. Unfortunately, it exposes them to dental conditions, such as cavities and periodontal diseases. That said, poor oral care over the years accelerates such conditions, which is why most seniors suffer from edentulism, commonly known as toothlessness. The good news is that seniors' teeth do not have to fall off as they age. With proper dental care, even in old age, you can help the elderly retain their teeth condition. However, it is only possible if they undergo routine dental services specifically designed for seniors. This article highlights essential dental services for the elderly. 

Teeth Cleanings -- The saliva in your mouth plays an integral role in keeping your oral cavity healthy, thanks to the good bacteria present. However, aging affects the production and quality of saliva circulating in the mouth. Unfortunately, it increases the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth, accelerating tooth decay. The harmful bacteria act on food particles lodged between teeth, resulting in accelerated plaque buildup. Over time, the plaque turns to tartar that only a professional dentist can remove. Taking an elderly loved one for regular teeth cleaning can help counter plaque buildup and other effects of reduced saliva production, such as a dry mouth and foul breath. Most importantly, regular cleaning helps keep seniors' natural teeth healthy throughout their geriatric age.

Regular Tooth Root Examination -- Contrary to popular opinion, it is possible for seniors to have all their natural teeth during their old age. However, it is only possible with proper oral care during the younger years. That said, seniors with their natural teeth intact are prone to root decay because cavities generally attack the gum line rather than the top of teeth. Therefore, if an elderly loved one does not undergo regular root examination, they risk suffering from root decay. It is widespread in diabetic seniors or those who indulge in high-sugar diets. Therefore, book regular appointments with your elderly parents' dentist for routine root examination to keep cavities at bay.

Oral Cancer Screenings -- Undoubtedly, seniors are prone to health issues, including oral cancer. The reason is that oral cancer risk increases with age. While you can take your elderly parent to an oncologist for cancer screening, you will be glad to know that dentists also offer the service. In fact, most people are surprised to learn that dentists provide oral cancer screening services. The benefit of receiving oral cancer screening from a dentist is that they include other services as part of a single package. Thus, you save more money than you would if your elderly loved one sought oral cancer screening from an oncologist.