A Visit to the Dentist with Grandma

grandma-and-doc
Grandma and Doc Josh

If you are a senior and want to go for a regular checkup to your dentist, there are some things you need to be prepared for.

It’s very likely that your dentist will ask questions if you noticed any recent changes in your mouth or experienced and loose or sensitive tooth also. You need to mention to your dentist if you have difficulties when tasting, chewing or swallowing. Any pain, discomfort, any small bleeding in your mouth or sore should be also pointed out to your dentist.

You should make an attentive check up on your own before going to the dentist and pay attention to any bump or swelling in your mouth, no matter how small they might be.

Besides from looking in your mouth, your dentist may check your face and neck also to see if there is any mole, sore or skin discoloration. Your bite is a good indicator for your dental health and it should be also checked up.

The dentist takes a look at your jaw (for symptoms of clicking and popping in the temporomandibular joint), your lymph nodes and salivary glands. His job is also to check your inner cheeks (to see if there are any ulcers, infections or for a follow up on a traumatic injury), your tongue and other surfaces inside (gum tissue, soft and hard palate, floor of the mouth). Check out dentist Bacau for further details.

As it figures, your teeth should get the most attention from your dentist as he seeks for any new cracks, decay, condition of fillings and so on.

If you already use dentures or other appliances, your dentist needs to check-up also the dentures, especially if they are removable, for a closer view. He has to pay attention to any irritation or problems in the area in the mouth where the appliance touches. The appliance needs also to be looked after carefully.

Common dental issues when aging

As we age, the dentin (the bone-like tissue that lies under the tooth enamel) gets affected by stain-causing foods and beverages. This is the main cause for the darkening of your teeth, along with the thinning of the outer enamel layer that allows the darker yellower dentin to be see through.

A cancer treatment that implies radiation to the head and neck area may reduce saliva flow, which gives a dry mouth. Keep in mind that many medicines may also cause dry mouth, though.

Even this might be less important to use, but the diminish of sense of taste is also related to aging, some medications and disease and dentures have a big say on the sensory loss.

The plaque from the food left in teeth, use of tobacco products, poor diets, poor-fitting bridges and dentures, along some diseases (anemia, diabetes, cancer) may give a gum disease.

The exposure of the tooth root to decay-causing acids transforms into root decay and this it because the tooth roots get exposed as the gum tissue recedes from the tooth. There is no more enamel to protect the roots and they get prone to decay.

The gum diseases bring also tooth loss when aging and, eventually, uneven jawbone from the missing teeth.

When your denture doesn’t fit good, the chance for a buildup of the Candida Albicans (a fungus) is quite big and the denture-induced stomatitis is the next step.

When your immune system is fragile, due to drugs or disease, the overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans is the mouth is no surprise and this may cause another dental problem- thrush.

The conclusion

Just because you’re aging, it doesn’t mean you have to encounter all these dental problems. But, some other medical conditions, arthritis in the hands and fingers, for instance, may have a direct influence as it gets difficult for you to floss your teeth.

The older you get, the more likely to start taking all kinds of medicines that also have a say on your dental health.

But, if you start early and get committed to see your dentist on a regular basis, many of these problems may be minimized, if not eliminated for good.