…LMHD can help you maintain oral health as you age
At La Mesa Hills Dentistry, we are a family-friendly practice with a customer-comes-first approach. We serve clients of all ages, including seniors. As you age, things change, and it is entirely normal to experience changes in your oral health. At LMHD, we want to help our mature clients take good care of their oral health, so they can continue to feel good, look good, and stay healthy. As your partner in dental health, we are here to help. Here we outline some important factors for our mature clients to remember when caring for their oral health. If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to contact us today!
Representing nearly 20% of the U.S. population, the number of U.S. adults 65 years or older is projected to reach 72 million by the year 2030 (Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics). As a result, adults 65 and older are a growing demographic in dental practices. These mature adults have a unique set of needs and issues that must be attended to, and at LMHD, we believe in working closely and carefully to attend to these specific needs.
At La Mesa Hill Dentistry, some of the topics we discuss with our mature clients include:
⇒ Increased risk for root caries
Seniors frequently face an increased risk for root caries because of the occurrence of xerostomia (dry mouth) and gingival recession that exposes root surfaces. Approximately 50% of adults 75 years of age and older have root caries affecting at least one tooth. At LMHD, we talk to our mature clients about how good oral hygiene can have positive effects on caries. Some strategies we discuss include:
- The use of rotating/oscillating toothbrushes
- Topical fluoride, through daily mouth rinses, high fluoride toothpaste and regular fluoride varnish application
- Attention to dietary intake
- Silver diamine fluoride (SDF), which has shown effectiveness in the prevention and arrest of root caries in older adults (ada.org).
Xerostomia, also known as dry mouth, is a common condition in older adults, affecting as many as 30% of patients older than 65 years and up to 40% of patients older than 80 years. Xerostomia is often an adverse effect of medication, and is most likely to occur in individuals with an intake of more than 4 daily prescription medications. Xerostomia can also result from conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease. This condition can lead to mucositis, caries, cracked lips, and fissured tongue. If you are experiencing the discomfort of dry mouth, the LMHD staff may discuss the following strategies with you:
- Increased water intake – we recommend individuals with dry mouth make a habit of drinking or at least sipping regular water throughout the day.
- Limiting alcoholic beverages and beverages high in sugar or caffeine, such as juices, sodas, teas or coffee (especially sweetened).
⇒ Age-related changes: Hearing loss, Vision loss, Physical limitations, and Cognitive Impairment
At LMHD, we are sensitive to the needs of all of our patients, but we understand that our mature clients often face additional obstacles that must be considered. Patients with hearing loss, vision loss, physical limitations/loss of mobility, and/or cognitive impairment/decline may have an especially difficult time maintaining good oral care habits, communicating their dental care needs, and following directions from their dental care provider. The staff at LMHD is experienced with working with older adults, and we are committed to assisting these patients with their specific needs. At LMHD, you and your loved ones will always be treated with dignity and respect.
As you age, there will be changes to your overall health, but with routine dental cleanings, preventative maintenance, and open communication, La Mesa Hills Dentistry can help you maintain optimal oral health. Our staff will work closely with you, listen to your needs, and collaboratively develop solutions that work for you as an individual. Dr. Fjeldsted and the entire La Mesa Hills Dentistry staff is here to help you take the best care of your mouth as you age. Contact us here or call us at (619) 469-2902 today!