Sadly, just at the time when they need oral healthcare the most, too many seniors here in the Pasadena area and nationwide are skipping visits to the dentist. A big part of the problem is that, as a nation, we’ve undervalued the importance of dentistry. Yes, dental care is about a healthy smile but a great deal more as well.
While we know there can be special challenges when it comes to older people getting to a dentist regularly, we encourage seniors to prioritize visiting an outstanding family dentist office like Premier Care Dental Group. We also encourage their families to make sure their aging relatives stick with their regular dental appointments.
Preventive Care is Always Best
The easiest, most effective, and cheapest way to approach dental issues is to nip them in the bud or prevent them entirely with twice-yearly visits to the dentist for examinations and cleanings. As we age, we become increasingly vulnerable to all kinds of health problems and oral care is very much a part of it. Periodontal illnesses impacting the gums are more likely and can be especially devastating in multiple ways. They can sometimes require teeth to be extracted, which makes the patient more likely to suffer periodontal problems, leading to the loss of more teeth in a cascading series of oral health disasters. Lost teeth also lead to bone loss and osteoporosis, which can even change the shape of a patient’s face. To make matters worse, there are increasingly clear associations between periodontal illness and potentially life-threatening health issues including heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.
Fortunately, all of these issues are treatable. Dental implants, in particular, can help to arrest bone loss and other problems associated with lost teeth. Nevertheless, it’s obviously a great deal easier to spot these issues early and deal with them immediately; it’s much less expensive to fill cavities before decay threatens the entire tooth or multiple tooth loss threatens an entire mouth…it’s even better if good oral health habits and regular in-office teeth cleanings stop the problems from coming up in the first place.
Patients with Dementia
A great many of us will eventually have some level of mental impairment if we live long enough or grow ill. However, it’s not always a black-and-white situation where someone becomes suddenly unable to care for themselves. Many people have a long, gradual side, and oral hygiene can be one of the first casualties. Moreover, as new anti-Alzheimer’s drugs slow the progress of the disease down, the risk of a mostly functional older person having to deal with added health issues becomes greater.
If you have older relatives who may be in or near a decline in their intellectual functioning, please keep after them to take care of their teeth in the same way you’re likely to insist that they visit the doctor from time to time. Alzheimer’s patients are more likely to suffer oral health issues and lack of appropriate self-care is the most obvious culprit. If you think you may be seeing the early signs of cognitive impairment, talk to your family or caregivers about steps to ensure that they continue to have proper dental hygiene and care. The alternative could be to deal with severely painful toothaches and other problems on top of the other consequences of aging.
Helping Older Patients
Premier Care Dental Group has been helping patients from throughout the Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley area for years offering outstanding, gentle care. We know older people may be more physically sensitive than others and so we take the extra time to communicate with our senior patients to ensure that they are comfortable and relaxed at all times.
While we always try to keep our care as affordable as possible, we also understand that older people on fixed incomes may sometimes not be able to pay for more involved procedures in a lump sum. When it comes to financing, we can often arrange payment plans and we accept all major credit cards.
Looking for a Dentist in Pasadena?
Whether you’re looking for an outstanding dentist to partner with for preventive general dentistry or have an acute problem that needs to be looked at immediately, our caring and compassionate team members at Premier Care Dental Group want to hear from you. To get in touch, please call us at the number on your screen or by filling out our contact form on this page.