Dental & related changes in the elderly:
*Soft tissues (gums & cheeks) lose ability to stretch
*Muscles become soft and weak
*Saliva production decreases
*Increased incidence of dental decay
*Increased incidence of gum (periodontal) disease
*Increased brittleness & wearing out of teeth
*Systemic diseases such as DM, anemia etc. affect the oral cavity
*Medications for various problems (many cause xerostomia / dry mouth)
*Oral cancer, surgery, chemotherapy, irradiation & related issues
all these lead to difficulty in chewing, mouth is easily irritated and after injury, heals more slowly. This causes compromised food intake which in turn leads to more problems.
Why elderly adults may reject dental care:
* Fear of pain. Fact: – Painless dentistry is more easily accomplished with older adults than any other age group esp. due to the decrease in the nerve fibers.
* Preoccupation with impending death creates a feeling of “since I am old and will die soon, I do not need dental care.” Fact: Comfort, function and appearance are important at any age. These positive aspects of good dental care can often improve the older adult’s psychological outlook.
* Cost of treatment – dental treatment is awfully expensive and elders can’t afford treatment. Fact: A periodic check-up and management of minor problems is never an expensive affair, unless the damage is too severe. On the contrary, it works out cheaper in the long run and improves the quality of life dramatically.
All these three mentioned reasons lead seniors to avoid or delay dental treatment…
The result of such neglect is a crippled existence… an existence where –
* Chewing is less efficient
* Food is less tasty
* Food intake is compromised – improper nutrition leads to more problems such as decreased immunity & poor regenerative capacity of body tissues.
* This in turn makes the older adults more prone to disease and debility.
Tips on Oral Health and Hygiene Maintenance in Elderly
*Brushing – ordinary soft brush, power brush, inter-dental brushes
*Rinsing – ideally chlorhexidine based. Avoid alcohol based mouthwashes
*Wiping with gauze
*Use of water irrigators
*Dry mouth – use of glycerine / plain water sips / saliva substitutes
*Dental checkup & cleaning once in 6 months
And at the end, it’s not the years in your
life that count. It’s the life in your years!”
– Abraham Lincoln
Provisions for Dental Treatment at Saraf Dental Wing:
*Saraf Hospital – located in the heart of the city with ample parking space Spacious, homely & less congested.
*Appointments fixed well beforehand in the direct clinic ph. no.
*Whenever necessary, transportation will be arranged – eg. car / ambulance etc.
*Immediate attention and care
*Easy transfer of patients from vehicle to the dental clinic – lifts etc.
*Provision to provide – wheelchairs, stretchers, attendants, nurses & round – the – clock expert medical care
*Admission of patients in the hospital whenever necessary
*Provision to treat patients under GA whenever necessary.
Your satisfaction with dentures depends largely on the ability of the remaining ridges in your mouth to provide the necessary support.
After teeth are removed, the remaining bone (ridge) continuously shrinks to a smaller size. The gum tissue covering the ridge becomes thinner and is more easily irritated. The rigid, non-changing dentures become progressively less adapted to the ridges in the mouth. As a result, chewing hurts and you don’t chew as well.
It is estimated that nearly half of the dentures worn by elderly persons are ill-fitting and potentially harmful.
*Remove denture & clean the denture and mouth with luke-warm water twice a day. Brush the denture thoroughly using special brushes.
*Try to avoid wearing the denture at night. Immerse it in a cleansing solution.
*Report for a checkup to your dentist once in 6 months – even if you don’t have problems.
Dental Implantology offers excellent solutions to replace missing teeth in a fixed manner.