Advancing age can increase your risk for a number of oral health issues, such as gum disease, tooth loss, and jawbone atrophy. In addition, certain medication and medical conditions can affect your oral health and make at-home hygienic care more difficult. At his dental practice in Kansas City, MO, Dr. John Goodman offers specialized senior dental services to combat these specific concerns. Whether you need a restorative procedure to improve your oral health or a general dentistry treatment to maintain it, we can design a treatment plan that fits your needs.
Risk Factors for Seniors
When it comes to oral health, seniors face a unique set of challenges. Plaque tends to build up more quickly for seniors, which can increase the risk of developing decay. In addition, gum recession is often part of the aging process and can lead to decay forming around the roots of the tooth as well. Arthritis and other medical conditions can reduce dexterity and mobility, making daily oral hygiene more difficult to complete. Seniors are also prone to medical or mental conditions which make maintaining or receiving regular oral health care a challenge.
Understanding Age-Related Conditions
Due to changes in our physiology as we age, there are certain conditions which seniors are more prone to developing.
While periodontal disease can affect anyone, this condition is exacerbated in older adults by tobacco use, ill-fitting restorations, and poor diets. Certain diseases, such as anemia, cancer, and diabetes, can also worsen gum disease. Studies also show that, left untreated, periodontal disease is linked to heart disease, blood clots, and strokes. We offer both periodontal surgery and non-surgical periodontal treatment to combat the effects of gum disease.
Tooth roots are more vulnerable to decay than the surfaces because the roots of your teeth do not have enamel to protect them against decay-causing acids. Age-related gum recession can expose roots and increase the chance of root decay. A soft-tissue graft at our office can cover the roots and prevent decay from developing. If you are suffering from decay or infection, we can also offer root canal treatment to prevent the condition from spreading or causing more severe issues.
Dr. Goodman and our team understand how difficult it can be for seniors to obtain the dental services they need. We have the necessary experience to tailor our treatments accordingly.
Gum disease and root decay can both lead to tooth loss. By treating these conditions early, you can minimize your risk for losing teeth or requiring extractions. However, if you have already lost a tooth, we offer a full range of restorative dentistry services, from dentures and bridges to dental implants, to restore the form and function of your smile.
When you do not produce enough saliva, dry mouth can make it difficult to eat, swallow, taste, and even speak. Lack of saliva can also contribute to tooth decay and other oral infections. While for some patients dry mouth is a natural part of aging, it can also be a symptom of a more serious oral health concern. For other patients, dry mouth is a side effect of their medication and can be addressed by adjusting your dosage. We can assess the cause of your dry mouth and offer treatment recommendations during a preventative dentistry examination.
Patients over the age of 40 are more likely to be affected by oral cancer. Dr. Goodman can examine your smile for symptoms during an oral cancer screening at your biannual dental check-up. You can reduce your risk for oral cancer by avoiding tobacco products, moderating your alcohol intake, and using lip balm with SPF protection.
A Dedicated, Experienced Team
Dr. Goodman and our team understand how difficult it can be for seniors to obtain the dental services they need. We have the necessary experience to tailor our treatments to your unique needs. For example, dental procedures can be performed in shorter sessions for patients who are unable to sit for long periods of time. Additionally, we can keep track of your medications and monitor your oral health signs of medication-related complications. To find out more about our specialized dental services for seniors, call our office at (816) 842-8585 or contact us online.