Dentistry for Mature Adults
Many oral health concerns like tooth decay or damage are just as likely to affect patients at any age, but there are specific oral health conditions more likely to occur for our mature patients. At Southland Smiles, we offer numerous treatments specifically geared toward caring for patients’ smiles later in life. If you have questions or want to find out more, keep reading or contact our team to schedule an appointment today.
Chronic Dry Mouth
Severe or chronic dry mouth is an oral health concern known as xerostomia, and more than 25% of adults suffering from some level of dry mouth. While it may seem like nothing more than a mildly irritating condition at first, it can lead to serious oral health concerns. Saliva in the mouth is essential to neutralizing acid plaque that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Let us know during your next checkup if you notice any of the common warning signs of dry mouth including chronic bad breath, sticky or dry mouth, significantly increased thirst, oral sores, burning or tingling in mouth or on tongue, changes in taste, difficulty chewing or swallowing. Some simple ways to improve saliva production at home include:
- Sucking on sugar-free hard candies, mints, or lozenges
- Chewing sugar-free gum
- Drink water to keep mouth and throat moist
- Breath through the nose rather than the mouth
- Use an air humidifier to add moisture to dry rooms
Many patients begin to experience increasing dental sensitivity as they age. One of the side effects of daily wear and tear on the smile is the gradual thinning of the tooth enamel. This hard outer layer of teeth protects the more sensitive parts of teeth, the pulp and nerve tissue, which comprise the innermost layers of teeth. There are variety of ways to reduce tooth sensitivity in our office an at home. We will likely apply an in-office fluoride treatment during your checkup to help strengthen tooth enamel. Additionally, we may recommend you use a desensitizing toothpaste at home. Some patients experience increased sensitivity following gum disease when the more sensitive root structure of the tooth is revealed due to gum tissue recession. For these patients, more advanced treatments may be necessary including soft tissue grafts.