Emergency Dentistry For Seniors

Once upon a time, seniors had very high chances of getting serious dental issues that could have very negative consequences for their quality of life. The average level of dental care has risen in the modern age, meaning that this isn’t quite the problem that it once was. However, there can be no doubt about the fact that seniors still have higher rates of getting tooth loss, gum diseases, and other oral health problems.

In part, this is because of simple wear and tear. There are some species out there that can renew their teeth in one way or another. For example, rats continue growing their teeth throughout their entire lives, which is why they need to continue gnawing. Meanwhile, sharks will just continue growing replacements for their teeth over time. Unfortunately, our permanent teeth is the one set that will have to see us throughout our entire lives, which is a problem when everything from acidic foods to the repeated motion of chewing will gradually weaken the enamel. With time, this can expose the pulp tissue, thus creating the potential for infection and inflammation. Similarly, it is natural for the gums to recede somewhat with age, which is another thing that can expose more vulnerable tissues.

The same procedures that help other people protect their teeth can help seniors protect their teeth as well. Unfortunately, arthritis and the other complications that can come from age can make these processes more difficult. There are tools that can help. For instance, electric toothbrushes are very helpful for people who struggle to reach everywhere that they need to reach. However, there is a limit to how much they can help. Besides this, it should be mentioned that some dental issues take time to manifest into full-blown oral health problem. As such, something that was already present at an earlier age might not become noticeable until someone is a senior, with an excellent example being periodontal disease. Moreover, there are medications that can complicate oral health. One example would be calcium-channel blockers that can cause the gum tissue to grow, so much so that it can actually engulf the teeth in extreme cases. Another example would be the numerous medications that cause dry mouth, which makes it much easier for the soft tissues to become infected and inflamed.

Keeping one’s teeth healthy remains important for seniors. If anything, it is even more important because there is more and more evidence that oral health is connected to the health of the other parts of the body. For example, there is reason to believe that gum inflammation is connected to strokes, heart disease, and respiratory problems, all of which are already likelier to occur in seniors. Similarly, diabetes and oral health problems seem to have a two-way relationship. High blood sugar damages the blood vessels that supply the gums while providing more food for harmful bacteria in oral fluids. Simultaneously, inflammation of oral tissues can cause increased resistance to insulin, thus causing blood sugar levels to become even more out of control.

Summed up, everything points to seniors being likelier to experience oral health problems than their younger counterparts. Even worse, there is reason to believe that they tend to suffer more when something goes wrong. Due to this, it is critical that people seek out emergency dentistry for seniors sooner rather later when they start experiencing warning signs. They should not take risks with their oral health, particularly since it can have such negative effects for the rest of their well-being.

Speaking of which, the aforementioned issues mean that seniors are likelier to experience certain dental issues than others. Thanks to this, they should definitely seek out an emergency dentist who is well-versed in treating the problems that are likeliest to come up for them. Fortunately, there are a lot of people out there with similar needs, meaning that they can count on being catered to.

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