Age catches up with us quickly, and age related health changes occur in your mouth, just like the rest of your body. At Streitz Dental Arts, we are uniquely trained to care for the older patient. You may not think of yourself as a ‘senior’ patient, but around the age of 60, there are more risks associated with your oral health. Additionally, we know a lot more about dental care today compared to 60 or 70 years ago, and for that reason many seniors did not take the necessary steps to care for their teeth when they were younger. Over years this can compound dental problems and requires a specialized approach to care. Our goal is always prevention and we will take steps to maintain your natural teeth as long as possible. Sometimes teeth cannot be saved and must be replaced, allowing you to function comfortably. We offer multiple options to replace missing or damaged teeth, including different types of dentures, partial dentures, and implants (you are never too old to have implants!).
Here are some common oral problems that the older patient should be aware of :
Dry Mouth Often caused by medications currently taken for other health issues. Salivary glands may not function as efficiently as they once did. Dry mouth accelerates cavity formation exponentially and should be addressed immediately.
Root Decay Gum recession throughout life exposes the ‘softer’ root surfaces to plaque and acids causing decay.
Gum Disease The #1 cause for tooth loss- gum disease is a often a slow progressing disease that goes un-noticed, where supporting bone is lost around teeth. When teeth are noticeably loose, it is often too late for treatment. Diagnosing early stage gum disease is critical to prevent tooth loss later in life.
Tooth Loss Tooth loss leads to shifting of the surrounding teeth. This also leads to progressing jaw-bone loss. Teeth should be replaced as soon as possible to limit tooth movement.
How We Can Help
At your first appointment, we will examine your head and neck, including an evaluation of your lymph nodes, salivary glands, tongue, cheeks, TMJ, gums, and teeth. We will listen your goals and develop a treatment plan based on your specific needs. We do not take a ‘cookie cutter’ approach to treatment since every patient presents with different needs and goals. If you take excellent care of your teeth and have no problems or concerns- that’s great! We are here to care for all of your ongoing preventative care such as yearly cleanings and exams.