Conditions That May Affect Senior Dental Patients

As you grow older, your teeth and gums become more susceptible to a variety of issues. Many people of advanced age experience a number of dental health concerns. Here are some of the conditions that affect senior dental patients. 

Gum Disease

If you are an older patient, your dentist may check your gums more frequently, especially if you are experiencing signs of problems, such as gingival bleeding or tenderness. Older patients frequently experience a decline in gum health as their gums recede. The recession of the gingival tissues happens naturally over time. With the backward movement of the gums, the roots of the teeth are exposed and spaces develop between the gums and the teeth. These spaces allow the accumulation of oral bacteria.

The acid that the bacteria produces causes tissue inflammation. Additionally, the microbes can incite an infection.

To avoid gum problems as you age, your dentist may recommend that you brush and floss more frequently. Additionally, they may suggest an oral irrigator to help flush bacteria and debris from the area just below the surface of the gums.

An antibacterial mouthwash may also be prescribed to help eliminate some of the harmful microbes in the mouth. As the number of bacteria in the mouth declines, the health of gums is likely to improve.


Periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss among older patients. However, decay can also be a problem.

Many people lose some of their dexterity as they age, making it difficult to brush their teeth properly. When plaque and bacteria are not properly cleaned from the mouth, the concentration of oral acids increases, resulting in decay. 

To help ensure that the teeth are properly cleaned, the dentist may suggest that you exchange your manual toothbrush for an electric version. An electric toothbrush tends to clean the teeth more thoroughly with less effort. The bristles may rotate and vibrate sweeping plaque from the teeth even when the device is not moved briskly about. 

An oral irrigator can also be used in lieu of traditional string floss. The irrigator uses a stream of water to dislodge debris from the interdental spaces and from along the gum line. In addition to the water that is used in the device, antimicrobial mouth rinses can be added to the reservoir to discourage the growth of oral bacteria.

To have your teeth regularly checked as you grow older, schedule an appointment with a family dentist in your local area.