Fredericksburg Office: 540-710-1088
Stafford Office: 540-242-5251

Things to Know About Senior Dental Care

Dentist suggesting silicone dental impression to elderly woman

Aging is a natural part of life, and we understand the challenges it can bring. We know your heart is still young, but your body may not always keep up. As you age, your teeth may become softer and your gums more sensitive, increasing the risk of cavities and other oral diseases. At Southpoint Quality Dental, we’re here to help you or your senior loved ones maintain a confident smile, just like in your golden years. We’ve also provided some valuable tips on preventative dental care for seniors and information on specific issues you may encounter as you age. 

Common Dental Issues

  • Toothaches: As you age, your teeth become softer, and harder foods can cause sore teeth. There are also a multitude of other causes, such as tooth decay or cavities. We recommend scheduling an appointment with us to determine the cause and construct the best plan of action for your toothache.
  • Gum Disease (Periodontitis): Periodontitis, a gum disease, impacts over 50% of adults aged 65 and older. This bacterial infection leads to the deterioration of your gums and the bones that support your teeth. As a result, your gums may recede, pulling away from your teeth. In severe instances, the bone supporting the teeth can be destroyed, leading to tooth loss.
  • Cavities: Aging can also lead to an increase in cavities, as when your gums recede, your teeth become more exposed to bacteria.
  • Dry Mouth: Dehydration and certain medications are two causes of dry mouth, which leads to bad breath, but more importantly, lack of saliva production. Without saliva, you can’t chew or swallow foods as easily. Plus, saliva protects your teeth so that you may be susceptible to tooth infections as well.
  • Tooth Decay: Tooth decay can result from many things, such as cavities, root canals, and dry mouth. Similarly to periodontitis, people over the age of 65 are more than 50% more likely to have tooth decay.

Treatment Options

When oral pain strikes, it can significantly distract you from enjoying life to the fullest. We believe that no one should have to endure such discomfort. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of effective treatment options that can alleviate your pain, allowing you to get back to enjoying life. Our goal is to provide you with the comfort and relief you deserve.

  • Tooth Ache: If you cannot see your dentist immediately, try using ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve the pain. Another option is using salt water. A half a teaspoon of salt mixed with 8 ounces of water should do the trick. Swish the salty water in your mouth for a bit, and then spit it out. Finally, another home remedy is ice on the cheek or mouth adjacent to your toothache. The ice will numb your pain relievers, briefly causing the pain to subside.
  • Gum Disease (Periodontitis): Deep dental cleaning is the best way to relieve gum disease. If you are experiencing pain around your gums, you can book an appointment at Southpoint Quality Dental. Antibiotics are another route to alleviate pain and remove bacteria. You can discuss which medication is right for you with your dentist.
  • Cavities: Treatment for cavities depends on the stage of tooth decay. If you treat it early with Southpoint Quality Dental, we can save your teeth easily by using fluoride and general teeth cleaning. However, if your tooth cavity has decayed and blackened to the point where it cannot be saved, we might either extract the tooth or complete a root canal procedure.
  • Dry Mouth: Luckily, most cases of dry mouth can easily be treated at home. A common reason for dry mouth is dehydration. As we age, we become dehydrated more frequently, so drinking 8-12 glasses of water daily can help reanimate your saliva production. Switching medication could be an alternative strategy to alleviate dry mouth. Certain types of medication may lead to dry mouth, so consulting your doctor to explore different medication options that can help avoid this side effect is advisable. Finally, drinking alcohol and smoking remove saliva from your mouth, so avoiding those would be ideal to help your mouth return to normal saliva production levels. You can also always schedule an appointment with Southpoint Quality Dental to check up on the current state of your dental and oral health!
  • Tooth Decay: Teeth should be white and glowing, but sometimes age forces those teeth to age quicker than we would like. If your teeth are not in the state, you want them to be. Dentures are always an option at Southpoint Quality Dental. We will take a mold of your mouth, ensuring that your dentures fit perfectly, resulting in a brighter and cleaner smile! Schedule an appointment or call us at (540) 242-5251 for more details about dentures and the process involved.  

Preventative Care

While treatment is all fine and dandy, we would love it if you never had to undergo any treatment because your teeth are as healthy as they can be! To keep your teeth healthy, preventative care is crucial. While you’ve probably heard this since you were a defiant child at home from your parents, brushing and flossing at least once or twice a day will keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Switching to an electric toothbrush will help you efficiently reach places in your mouth while providing more power to remove all those built-up bacteria.

Schedule Your Dental Check-Up

Getting a checkup once every six months at Southpoint Quality Dental is also ideal for you to have all the knowledge in the world about the state of your teeth. During these twice-a-year check-ups, you can get x-rays of your mouth, receive a deep cleaning of your teeth and gums, and obtain expert advice from our dentists on consistently caring for your mouth.

You can schedule your bi-yearly appointment at Southpoint Quality Dental today!

Office Closure

Happy 4th of July From Southpoint Quality Dental!

Our offices will be closed on July 4th and 5th for Independence day.
We will be open as normal on Monday the 8th. Have a great weekend!