When it comes to dental services, senior citizens sometimes have specific concerns that might not be the same as those of younger patients. If you are a senior citizen, it's important to know which types of issues to discuss with your dentist. Use the following guide to help determine which questions and concerns to bring up at your next dental appointment.
While stomatitis can affect virtually anyone, it can be a particular concern for seniors who wear dentures. Ill-fitting dentures can cause irritation that can lead to this condition, and the symptoms can include pain, inflammation, and difficulty talking or eating. Your dentist can perform an exam and determine the right course of treatment to reduce these symptoms. It's also a good idea to have your dentist inspect your dentures to ensure they fit properly, as this can help prevent stomatitis from becoming an issue.
Reduced Taste Sensation
If you find that food doesn't taste the same as it used to, you may want to discuss this issue with your dentist. For some people, this loss of taste can be attributed to autoimmune disorders or current medications. For others, it may simply be a symptom of aging. While there may not be a treatment that works for everyone, your dentist may have some medication options or lifestyle choices you can use to help preserve your sense of taste as you age.
Some senior citizens may experience tooth loss as a result of gum disease, weakened teeth, or decay. This problem can lead to a loss of self-esteem as well as difficulty eating or speaking. Your dentist may be able to provide you with a dental bridge, dental implants, or dentures to replace the missing teeth and restore your smile. More invasive procedures, like dental implants, may not be ideal for every patient. This is particularly true if your bones are weakened, as your jaw may not have the strength to hold the implant in place. Consult with your dentist to determine which tooth replacement option makes the most sense for you.
Difficulty With Oral Hygiene
Senior citizens with great oral health may still experience some issues due to aging. If you have arthritis, Parkinson's, or another condition that makes controlled movements difficult, you may find that brushing your teeth or flossing can be a challenge. Your dentist may be able to help by scheduling more frequent cleanings, and he or she can also reccommend adaptive devices that make brushing and flossing easier.