Geriatric Dental Care Services
admin February 16, 2021Category: DENTAL CARE
Geriatric Dental Care

Geriatric dental care refers to the dental healthcare services provided to older adults including, complete diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and management of various dental problems as well as associated diseases. It is true that a wide range of dental problems can arise with ageing and hence appropriate geriatric dental services are of immense importance to handle the problems in the best possible manner. The mouth is considered to be the mirror of individuals’ overall health, thereby indicating that oral health is an integral part of their general health.

Table of Contents

Feel free to skip ahead if one topic catches your eye:

  1. Dental Care for Older Adults
  2. Common Geriatric Dental Problems and Treatments

1. Dental Care for Older Adults

We all know that ageing is a natural process, and with age, the overall body and its functions begin to deteriorate. This, in turn, slowly degrades the overall health of senior adults and dental health is not an exception. As the individual’s age, their dental health also starts declining. It is precisely at this point in time where dental care for seniors comes to the rescue.

Geriatric dental care is a specially designed dental healthcare service for older adults to take care of their overall oral health. So, let us delve a bit deeper into the topic to understand what the seniors can expect from a visit to any good and experienced geriatric dentist in Gurgaon.

  • Complete diagnosis of entire oral health and past history if any.
  • Identification of any existing dental or oral issues.
  • Treatment of existing conditions and their further prevention.
  • Management of various dental issues with minimal intervention.
  • Chalk out a customized dental healthcare plan to maintain a good overall dental health of the senior patients.

In addition to this, there are a few essential questions asked by the geriatric dentist:

  • The date and purpose of your last dental visit
  • Any noticeable changes in the mouth in recent times
  • Any noticeable sensitive or loose teeth
  • Any recently increased difficulty chewing, tasting, or swallowing
  • Existence of any pain, sores, discomfort, or bleeding in the mouth
  • Existence of any swellings, bumps, or lumps in the mouth

After analyzing all these questions, precise geriatric dental services are offered to the individuals depending on their exact dental health condition.

Geriatric Problems

2. Common Geriatric Dental Problems and Treatments

Let us understand the common geriatric dental problems and their treatments, which are commonly related to geriatric patients.

Gum Disease

Almost every adult suffers from gum disease in their lifetime, but they are usually treatable and reversible. However, in the case of older adults, gum disease might be more severe and long-lasting in nature. The symptoms are not severe initially, but gum disease is often linked to other medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease as per different studies.

Prevention and treatment of gum disease is the best way to protect oneself. The dentists suggest various useful strategies to maintain regular brushing and flossing with the correct technique for the best results. They also suggest that the seniors take extra care with regular cleaning by the professionals and frequent dental check-ups as a part of the treatment procedure.

Pale Teeth

Yellowing of teeth is a natural part of ageing and a very common geriatric dental problem. The food that we eat tends to stain the teeth over time. Also, the outermost layer of teeth, enamel gets eroded with time. This leads to exposure of the inner layer dentine, which is pale in color. Moreover, thinning of enamel can cause greater sensitivity giving rise to additional problems. Opting for a good and trusted geriatric dental care service would be ideal in this regard.

The dentists analyze the situation and make the right treatment plan for the same. The most common treatment options for pale teeth are teeth whitening, porcelain dental veneers, and others depending on the individual’s condition. It is left to the dentists to decide what would be the most appropriate treatment option, and they proceed accordingly.

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity refers to the pain or discomfort in the teeth as a response to particular stimuli like cold or hot temperatures. The problem might be temporary or chronic in older adults. It can affect a single tooth, several teeth, or all of the teeth simultaneously.

Geriatric dental services are readily available to treat tooth sensitivity. In several cases of tooth sensitivity, the treatment is done by bringing a change in the overall oral hygiene regimen. Mild tooth sensitivity is treated by over-the-counter dental treatments. The dentists recommend prescription toothpaste, and mouthwash if tooth sensitivity is severe. The application of fluoride gel is also suggested for strengthening teeth and protecting the enamel.

In addition to this, inlays and Onlays are readily used for treating tooth sensitivity. Both inlays and Onlays are dental restorations that are typically used when a cavity is too large for undergoing a conventional dental restoration. Inlays and Onlays are customs made to fit the requirements of every affected elderly patient.  Another treatment option is to have dental veneers to treat tooth sensitivity in senior patients. Veneers are a layer of protective covering placed over the defective tooth or teeth to prevent the pain and discomfort associated with sensitivity.

However, in cases of deeper tooth decay where all the above treatments do not work, a root canal treatment may be required.

MPDS or Myofascial Pain Dysfunction Syndrome

MPDS or Myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome is a chronic pain disorder. It causes pain, discomfort, jaw movement irregularities, and muscle spasm. In addition to this, dental attrition is a common problem associated with older adults where there is the loss of the vertical height and the tooth appears smaller in the mouth.

In geriatric dental care, treatment of dental attrition and pain associated with MPDS is appropriately dealt with by night guards. Nightguards are also referred to as dental or mouth guards that work by putting a barrier between the teeth. When the individuals clench their jaw, night guards play a significant role in lightening the tension and offering cushion to the jaw muscles.

Diminished Sense of Taste

A diminished sense of taste is another common issue that occurs with age. It mostly happens due to the gradual loss of taste buds. Various dental problems cause a loss of the taste buds which diminishes the sense of taste.

Geriatric dental care rightly identifies the exact cause of impaired taste and creates the treatment plan accordingly. In most cases, the dentist uses some common medications to enhance the functioning of the taste buds and maintain an overall good oral health.

Tooth Loss

Tooth loss is another of the very common geriatric dental problems. With age, the roots of the tooth tend to lose, resulting in the tooth falling off. Moreover, if gum disease is present, the loss of a tooth is a common affair among senior adults. This is because gum disease further paves the way for receding gums and bone loss.

Need for the dental prosthesis

Loosening of teeth or teeth falling off is a common problem among older adults. The situation gets quite difficult as they are unable to eat properly. The affected seniors need not worry since geriatric dental services are available to handle the situation. Loss of a tooth can be mitigated by the use of full dentures, partial dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants if the bone is healthy. The treatment options for tooth loss varies as per the condition of the affected patients.

Take Away

At Smilexpertz, every individual can be assured of getting the best geriatric dental care in Gurgaon irrespective of the type of dental problem or disease. Smilexpertz takes pride in being the best dental clinic in Gurgaon with a team of the most experienced dentists in town. With the best dentist in Gurgaon, the older adults can be a hundred percent sure of getting the best geriatric dental care services at a pocket-friendly price to help them in retaining their evergreen smile.

REFERENCES

{1) Dental Care for Older Adults, www.webmd.com

{2} Common Geriatric Dental Problems and Treatments, www.capstoneclintonville.com

{3} Common Geriatric Dental Problems and Treatments, www.healthline.com

{4} Common Geriatric Dental Problems and Treatments, www.healthline.com

{5} Common Geriatric Dental Problems and Treatments, www.newmouth.com

{6} Common Geriatric Dental Problems and Treatments, www.sleepassociation.org