Dental Care for Older Adults: FAQ
You may need to see a periodontist, a doctor who specializes in the mouth's gums and bones. Be ready to discuss your medical history and your oral hygiene habits.
Certain conditions like diabetes can also affect your gums and teeth.
5. I’ve been smoking for a long time. What does that mean for my oral health?
You're likely to have bad breath and stained teeth, for starters. And it might take longer to recover from a pulled tooth and periodontal treatment. But the harsh reality of long-term smoking is that it raises the chances of oral cancer. And so does your age.
If you find a wound or sore area on your tongue or anywhere in your mouth, have it examined and keep a close eye on it.
6. I want to take my friend to get a dental treatment, but she has dementia. What should I do?
Make the appointment for early in the day, when your friend is most alert. Also, make sure to tell her where she is going and why. And let the dentist know ahead of time about your friend's condition. Communication will make the visit easier. If possible, have one of your friend's family members go with you to the appointment. They can make treatment decisions if she can't.
It's best for someone with dementia to see a dentist as soon as possible after they're diagnosed. And if any procedures are needed, they should get them done as soon as possible. That way, as the disease gets worse, your friend should only need easier maintenance treatments
7. Why do I have to go to the dentist if I have no teeth?
It’s a good idea to visit the dentist at least once a year for a full oral exam. As you age, you might have issues but not know it.
Your doctor can look for signs of oral cancer and other medical problems of the mouth, head, and neck. You also need to have dentures checked for fit, and routinely cleaned.
8. My dentures used to feel great, but now they’re uncomfortable. Is there anything I can do?