Tips for Extending the Life of Geriatric Teeth

Paying attention to your oral health is important for people of all ages. However, people older than 65 need to be especially diligent about caring for their teeth, as senior citizens have an increased risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. The natural aging process plays a role in this increased risk, as do conditions ranging from arthritis to dementia that can make it difficult for older people to properly care for their teeth. The following tips can help extend the life of geriatric teeth and prevent serious oral health issues from occurring in old age.

Try Helpful Oral Health Gadgets

Cavities and tooth decay are now more prevalent in people over 65 than in young children. Physical conditions that come with old age, such as arthritis, can make it difficult to brush and floss your teeth properly. If physical pain or immobility causes you to do an incomplete cleaning job or even skip out on your oral hygiene routine entirely, gadgets like an electric toothbrush and a water flosser could help. These appliances require less motion in your hands, fingers, and wrists, and can help you brush and floss consistently, which is crucial for preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

Do Not Skip Dental Checkups

According to a study performed by the ADA, approximately one fifth of adults over 75 have not been to the dentist in five or more years. Older people may neglect their dental checkups due to decreased mobility, cognitive impairments, financial concerns, or simply because they believe it is not necessary. But routine checkups are essential for cleaning your teeth thoroughly (especially if you find it difficult to keep up with your oral hygiene yourself), as well as detecting and treating tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer early enough to minimize potential future complications and save as many of your natural teeth as possible.

Focus on Nutrition

Nutrition is intricately linked to oral health. Several vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, phosphorus, magnesium, and many more, are incredibly important for maintaining strong and healthy teeth, and even fighting diseases in some cases. Older people often have a hard time getting adequate nutrition due to a natural decrease in appetite, difficulty chewing due to missing teeth or poorly fitting dentures, or cognitive conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. If dental issues make it difficult or uncomfortable for you to eat your favorite foods, our office can help. Contact us for more tips on keeping your teeth strong as you age.

How Denture Cleansers Keep Your Mouth Healthier

Partial or full dentures require regular and thorough cleaning to keep them free from bacteria and stains. Cleaning your dentures using denture cleansers not only maintains them in good shape but also keeps your mouth healthier. Routine cleaning of dentures comprises regular brushing and soaking of the dentures using specific brands of denture cleansers.

Soaking Your Denture

If you wear dentures, you will need to remove them regularly and soak them in denture cleansers to maintain good oral hygiene. Soaking dentures in a cleanser removes stains, bacteria, and plaque. Removing stains from your dentures is necessary to maintain their color for an aesthetic smile. Soaking it in a denture cleanser removes bad smell by killing the odor-causing bacteria. Thus, if you struggle with bad odor, investing in cleansers tough on the odor is vital. Also, by keeping your dentures free of bad smell, you will be able to maintain an overall fresh oral breath. If you struggle with plaque on natural teeth, soaking your denture in cleansers will eliminate the plaque. Plaque removing cleansers break down the plaque overnight from the denture surface and between the dentures, leaving it clean and smooth.

Cleaning Dentures

After soaking your dentures, you should inspect the denture’s inside and brush off any remaining particles to complete the denture cleaning. Like natural teeth, dentures require regular brushing at least once a day using a soft-bristled brush and denture cleanser to remove leftover debris. This cleanser is nonabrasive compared to the ordinary toothpaste and will not damage the dentures. You can then rinse off the solution from the denture before wearing it again. Lastly, before putting your dentures back to your mouth, complete your cleaning by brushing your gums with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste for a healthy mouth. For more information on denture cleansers, contact our office today.

Signs You Need to Get Denture Adjustments

Unlike dental implants, dentures are not rooted into place in your jaw. As a result, when you wear dentures, your jaw will gradually change shape and become reabsorbed over time. These changes mean that your dentures will no longer fit as comfortably as they initially did. Here are some ways you can tell when you need to get your dentures adjusted.

They Feel Loose or Uncomfortable

Properly fitting dentures should rest against your gums smoothly and stay in place easily through suction. If your dentures begin to feel loose and slip around while chewing or talking, you might need to have them adjusted. Your dentures should not cause you any pain or discomfort, so if you start to notice jaw soreness, sores on your gums, or any other oral inflammation, swelling, or irritation, these could be signs that your dentures are not fitting properly.

You Have a Hard Time Chewing or Speaking

While chewing and speaking might not feel as seamless with dentures as it did with your natural teeth, you should be able to comfortably eat and talk with dentures once you get accustomed to them. If it becomes difficult to chew food or you start to have trouble with certain words or letter sounds, this could be an indicator that your dentures should be refitted.

When to Replace Rather than Adjust

Ultimately, dentures do not last forever. Your changing facial structure, along with normal wear and tear, means that dentures typically need to be replaced every five to ten years. However, there are some instances when you should get them replaced sooner. If you drop your dentures and they break, or if some of the prosthetic teeth become chipped or cracked, you might need to replace your dentures or at least have them repaired in our office. Do not attempt to correct cracks, chips, or fit issues yourself. If you have questions about getting your dentures adjusted, call us today.

A Dental Bridge Could Help Improve TMJ Issues Through Proper Alignment

It is estimated that millions of Americans suffer from TMJ disorders. If you are one of those millions, you probably experience frustrating symptoms like difficulty opening your mouth all the way, popping or clicking noises in your jaw, and pain in your face, jaw, ears, neck, and shoulders. A dental bridge is one of the many treatment options available for easing your TMJ issues.

What Causes TMJ?

TMJ affects the way your jaw joints and facial muscles work together when you open and close your mouth, bite, chew, and speak. It is believed to be caused by an uneven, mismatched, or otherwise misaligned bite. These bite issues can be the result of missing or damaged teeth, bruxism (teeth grinding), or injuries to the jaw. If you are missing one or more teeth, your remaining teeth shift position in your mouth, leading to an uneven bite and the resulting TMJ issues. Similarly, teeth that are cracked or worn down due to bruxism, injury, or even tooth decay can also lead to a misaligned bite.

How a Dental Bridge Could Help

A dental bridge is a restorative option that can return your teeth to their proper alignment and help resolve your TMJ symptoms. A dental bridge is a row of one or more prosthetic teeth that is held in place by crowns attached to healthy “abutment teeth” on either side. Bridges are used for patients who have one or more missing, damaged, or decayed teeth in the same area, but whose surrounding teeth are healthy and strong enough to support the bridge. A dental bridge not only improves the appearance of your smile, but it restores the alignment of your bite as well by preventing your natural teeth from shifting. This realignment should reduce or eliminate your TMJ symptoms and protect your teeth and jaw from further damage. Call our office today to learn more.

How to Tell if Your Dentures Need Realigning to Fit Better

Dentures are an essential part of life for many people, helping them to eat and look classy; however, just like regular teeth, they need to be maintained in order to function properly. One common problem with dentures is that they can misalign over time; keep reading to discover some tell-tale signs that your dentures are not fitting as optimally as they could be.

Indicators of Misalignment

Due to the fact that dentures primarily function to enable you to eat properly, it should come as no surprise that signs of misalignment can be gleaned from this process; particularly, experiencing difficulty chewing after already experiencing a significant amount of time without difficulty, can point to misalignment. This misalignment is often brought about by a reshaping of your gums due to denture usage.

If the shape of your face changes over time, it could point to misaligned dentures; this is because dentures should be applying pressure to your jaw in a similar way to natural teeth, and misalignment of dentures will cause the direction of that pressure to deviate from its ideal direction. Pressure sores are another indicator of misaligned dentures; the pressure sores are a result of uneven pressure distribution along your gums. If you do not experience the same suction or great-fit feeling that you initially experienced when you first got your dentures, then that is also an indication of misalignment.

Another indicator of misalignment is difficulty with speech; your speech was initially impacted by dentures, but you overcame this for a longtime only to have it remerge once again. We hope that this information was helpful; please contract our office for more information, or to schedule an appoint if you suspect that your dentures are no longer aligned the way that they once were.

Dental Bonding Could Help Correct Your Smile

Dental bonding is a wonderful, and affordable, procedure that can fix damaged teeth. Avoiding surgery and preserving a natural look, keep reading to learn more about dental bonding and the types of problems that it can fix.

Bond Buoyage Bad Teeth

Utilizing a safe composite resin, dental bonding is the process of adding and shaping the resin in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and fully functional. From a chipped tooth, to a gap between your teeth, the following are some common problems that dental bonding can deal with.

Chipped, cracked, and otherwise broken teeth are the most common problem that dental bonding can solve; here the resin bonds to your existing tooth and is nicely molded to mimic the structure and function of the part of the tooth that was damaged, or it is used to fill in a crack in you tooth in order to bond it back together. It will please you to know that the resin color is carefully matched to the color of your teeth, ensuring that your smile remains as natural as possible.
If you have a very discolored or stained tooth, then dental resin can change the color of this tooth to match the others. Due to the workability of these resins, it is also possible to add more volume to your existing teeth in order to fill a noticeable gap between them, or even to turn a twisted or crooked tooth into a forward facing masterpiece. The last procedure that we will mention is a method for reducing tooth sensitivity; dental resin can be applied to exposed roots due to receding gums, or excessively worn enamel, thereby decreasing exposure to the nerves within.

If you have a problem with how your teeth look, then please do not hesitate to call our office to find out what we can do to get your smile looking great. Set up an appointment today.

Partial Dentures Can Spare Your Remaining Teeth

Do you wear a partial denture? Would you like to know more about this type of restoration? If so, the following information explains how wearing partial dentures can spare the remaining natural teeth.

What Is a Partial Denture?

A removable partial denture, also called a bridge, typically is made up of some artificial replacement teeth that are affixed to a gum-colored plastic base. This restoration is normally linked by a metal framework that holds the partial inti place. Partial dentures are placed when a patient has one or more missing teeth as well as surrounding teeth in the maxilla (upper jaw) or mandible (lower jaw). You can also get a partial denture in the form of a fixed bridge. This restoration allows a prosthodontist to place crowns onto natural teeth or implants so the artificial teeth can be attached. The bridge is then cemented into place. A precision partial denture, which looks more natural, features internal attachments rather than clasps so the denture can be attached to the crowns without notice.

What Happens if a Partial Denture Is Not Placed?

It is important to fill in spaces in the mouth that result from tooth loss, as teeth will shift over time. When this occurs, you can end up with problems with chewing or with alignment. In addition, some teeth may unnaturally crowd together, which can lead to difficulties with dental care and the prevention of cavities. When the teeth are not properly aligned, your dental hygiene becomes compromised. As a result, you become more susceptible to gum disease and infections.

Do you need a partial denture? If so, you should contact our prosthodontic team about setting an appointment today. Maintain the health of your mouth and teeth by filling in any gaps. Call us for a consultation now. The sooner you take care of filling in missing teeth, the sooner you can experience better health overall.

How Implants Can Give You a Great Smile

Implants give you several options for improving your smile. To understand why they are so popular, you only have to review the benefits. The following information explains how these artificial roots can be used to give you a great smile. However, first, we need to define the restorations.

What Are Implants?

Implants are used to replace one or more missing teeth. They can even be used for edentulous patients. Serving as artificial roots, implants resemble very small screws, and are made of titanium or zirconium. The artificial roots are surgically implanted so they can be used for the placement of crowns, bridges, or dentures. It takes about six months for osseointegration to take place, or for the implants to fuse with the jaw bone to provide a stable anchor. The “roots” are also designed with a connector, known as an abutment, so dentures, bridges, and crowns can be affixed.

The Ways Implants Can Revive Your Smile

Implants may be used as one root for one crown, or as several roots for several missing teeth, and for a bridge. They can also be used, as indicated, for teeth missing from the upper or lower jaw, or to treat extensive tooth loss. In addition, you can choose a complimentary tooth color, thereby making dentures, crowns, or bridgework look natural and attractive. Not only do implants stabilize the jaw, they also make it possible for the regeneration of bone. Therefore, you do not have to worry about further bone loss or resorption. Implants and the dental prosthetics they hold are as close as you can come to having actual teeth. When implants finally fuse with the bone, they are even stronger than a tooth’s natural roots.

Would you like to know more about achieving a great smile with implants? If so, call us anytime to book an appointment. Find out, like others, why implants make it possible for people to enhance their appearance and improve their oral health. Give us a call now to receive further details.

Would a Partial Denture Remove Some of Your TMD?

If you have suffered from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), you know that there are things that make your TMD worse, and things that make it better. You may be wondering if partial dentures might help to remove some of your symptoms of TMD. Here are some thoughts about partial dentures and TMD.

What Is TMJ? What is TMD?

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a sliding hinge joint located on either side of your jaw. It is responsible for your jaw moving back and forth as well as up and down. There is a small disk in between the pieces of your jaw. That disc can become inflamed, which can lead to TMD. TMD is a disorder with several telltale symptoms. You may have joint pain in your jaw joint. You may also have trouble opening and closing your jaw. You may hear popping when you move your jaw. You may also have more headaches and tooth pain, or ear pain with TMD.

How Can Dentures Help My TMD?

One of the problems for people who have TMD is that they are missing teeth. If you are missing teeth, your other teeth will try to make up for the teeth you have lost. This means they will gradually shift over time. This shifting of teeth can begin to make your jaw work differently.

However, if you get partial dentures, you immediately correct your bite, and your teeth won’t have to shift around to accommodate your missing teeth anymore. Over time, a partial denture can really help your TMD symptoms, especially if you’re missing teeth are all on one side. You may also want to ask us about the use of anti-inflammatories and exercise as ways to curb your TMD. Ask about a mouthguard as well, to further reduce your chances of TMD. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment to learn more.

Eating Should Not Be A Struggle

Most people aren’t aware that you need all of your teeth to eat certain foods. It’s just natural to pick up any food you want and eat it. However, people with missing teeth can’t eat whatever they want. They don’t realize that a lot of foods require lots of chewing, which can be very challenging with missing teeth. It is good to get help with a missing tooth because if it’s not treated it can cause some health issues.

How Having Missing Teeth Can Affect Your Health

Tooth loss can damage your natural sensory input, which can result in people losing their appetites. When people experience pain or stress in the mouth due to missing teeth, it can cause them to avoid certain foods (especially healthy foods), and make them eat less in general. Having missing teeth means your gums and jaws have to work harder to chew food. Lack of a healthy diet can cause a lot of health problems. A diet of soft and processed foods can have a long-term effect on seniors or those with health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. A poor diet can lead to weight loss, weight gain, high blood pressure, malnutrition, high cholesterol, or jaw bone loss. Poor nutrition can also cause tooth decay and gingivitis.

Tooth loss can cause some issues in your mouth as well. Some of your remaining teeth can shift into the spaces left open by your missing teeth. It can cause your remaining teeth to become weak. It can then lead to bite problems and even jaw joint pain. You can also experience soreness, bleeding, and irritation in your gums.

Having missing teeth can have some consequences. It’s not a serious problem so you shouldn’t worry. If you are having trouble eating with missing teeth, please call our office so we can help you. From there we can set up an appointment and provide you with all the answers and help you need.