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Taking Your Elderly Parent to a Geriatric Dentist

Posted by Dr. Panchal on Mar 10 2020, 06:58 AM

Senior healthcare is of the utmost importance, so finding a geriatric dentist who understands the challenges that come with treating the elderly is essential. Looking out for the oral health of a loved one who is advanced in age means bringing them to the dentist, even when they may not realize it is time for a checkup.

As we age, our dental health is one of the most important things that we often forget about. After all, if there is no immediate need for a dentist, many adults and elderly patients assume that all is well. However, even if there is no apparent issue with the teeth and gums, preventative care can greatly improve the health of teeth, and overall health of elderly patients.

Why it may be time to take your elderly parent to a geriatric dentist

Members of the senior community are no stranger to dental issues. Most patients who have lost many or all their teeth are over the age of 60. Even if your elderly parents still have their teeth, other oral health issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, and dry mouth may go unnoticed for long periods of time. Elderly patients seem to overlook many of these issues, and let their oral health fall by the wayside in the process.

Having a healthy mouth in later years is crucial, not only in maintaining teeth and gums but in caring for the rest of the body as well. In fact, there is a direct link between oral health and overall health. This is why it is so important to bring elderly parents in for a checkup and cleaning at least every six months.

Conditions linked with oral health

Poor oral health, especially in older patients, is connected to various whole-body health issues, including the following:

Heart disease

Decades of research have proved that there is a strong link between recurring gum disease and heart disease. Keeping up with oral hygiene can not only improve the smile of an elderly patient but can protect their heart, as well. Those who develop periodontal disease frequently are about twice as likely to have heart disease.

Diabetes

There is a direct connection between severe gum disease and diabetes. Gum disease does not allow the body to use insulin properly, causing a unique problem for those with diabetes. Additionally, high blood sugar can lead to gum infection, as well.

Osteoporosis

Signs of osteoporosis are often first noticed by dentists. Osteoporosis is a condition in which bone replenishment does not occur as quickly as the rate at which the bone is lost. Every day, bone cells are lost and regenerated within the jaw and other parts of the body. In elderly patients, the jawbone becomes more porous as we grow older, exacerbating these effects. Those with osteoporosis may experience severe loss of jawbone density that can lead to tooth loss.

Time to bring mom and dad in for a checkup?

It is never easy having to take care of elderly parents, especially those who are unable to care for themselves. Our geriatric dental office is proud to serve the elderly community. Our compassionate, friendly and highly trained dentists strive to provide the best care possible, in a comforting environment. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.


Request an appointment here: https://hanfordcosmeticdentist.com or call Rushi Panchal DDS at (559) 426-1124 for an appointment in our Hanford office.

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