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April 1, 2021

As we age, many things change, but many things also remain the same. The way we practice dental care is no exception to this. Caring for our teeth and gums is important as we age because they can become more vulnerable to increased problems developing. Let’s discuss what dental care for seniors looks like both at home and in the dentist’s chair.

Brush and Floss

One thing that remains the same about dental care for seniors is that it’s always important to brush after each meal and floss daily to maintain good dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly will help to remove food debris, bacteria and plaque before it can cause tooth decay or gum disease. Good dental hygiene will also help to promote brightness and reduce dental stains from developing.

Implants and Dentures

The likelihood of having implants or dentures increases as we age. Caring for implants looks much the same as caring for natural teeth, but denture care can be a bit different to get used to. With dentures, it’s recommended that you brush them daily as you would teeth, and it’s also important to remove them nightly to protect your mouth from developing sores and so that you can soak the dentures in a cleaning solution.

Conditions and Diseases Related to Aging

There are also some common conditions and diseases related to aging that affect dental health. One of these conditions is xerostomia or dry mouth. Dry mouth often affects seniors because they are more likely to be prescribed medications with side effects that include reduced saliva flow. Dry mouth can become a serious issue if unaddressed because saliva is your body’s natural method of protecting your teeth. Reduced saliva flow inhibits that natural defense system and puts your teeth at greater risk of decay.

Other common conditions relating to aging can be those that affect the gums such as periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease, or gum recession due to gum disease or simple hormonal changes. Effects of these gum conditions can range from exposed roots of the teeth, root caries and tooth loss.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Because of the increased risk for these conditions and diseases as we age, it’s important to visit a dentist regularly for an exam and thorough cleaning. It’s also important to see a dentist who understands dental care for seniors. While a regular dentist may treat a few patients with similar conditions, implants or dentures, a geriatric dentist specialized in treating senior patients will have much more experience. Increased experience can mean that your dentist is more likely to recognize issues before they develop into problems and is more rehearsed in efficiently and comfortably treating problems if they do arise.

It’s important to know that your dentist is knowledgeable, practiced and ready to handle the unique challenges you may face. That’s why many seniors seeking dental care choose to opt for a geriatric dentist. A geriatric dentist is your best resource if you’re looking for someone who specializes in dental care for seniors and the unique challenges related to aging.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

Why Geriatric Dentistry is Important
March 1, 2021

Geriatric dentistry is specialized dental care for senior patients.There are many reasons why geriatric dentistry is important because older patients can face a number of unique conditions and diseases related to aging which can create unique challenges when seeking dental care. Let’s talk about a few of the challenges commonly affecting senior patients that may benefit from the specialized care of a geriatric dentist.

Common Conditions and Diseases

Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is a common affliction affecting the senior population because they are commonly prescribed medications with side effects that include reduced flow of saliva.Dry mouth is associated with an increased risk of cavities because salvia is part of your body’s natural defense system that remineralizes and protects your teeth.

Periodontitis, or advanced gum disease, also commonly affects older patients and can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Gum recession can be a symptom of gum disease or hormonal changes related to aging and can expose the roots of the teeth, which are softer and more prone to decay than the upper areas of the tooth covered by enamel, leading to increased risk of root caries.

Increased Sensitivity to Medications

Geriatric patients may have increased sensitivity to medications and anesthetics including those used during dental procedures. One of the reasons why geriatric dentistry is important is to have the assurance of a specialized dentist and dental team that is up to date on the latest research and training in order to help protect the safety and health of older patients vulnerable to increased side effects and reactions.

Potential for Drug Interactions

Many older patients are already taking multiple prescription or over the counter medications for age related conditions, which can put them at a significantly increased risk of medication errors, drug interactions and serious reactions. Geriatric dentists will appreciate that you want to know you have specialists you can trust who understand the extra precautions needed to treat geriatric patients.

Physical and Cognitive Challenges

It’s also common for elderly patients to suffer from physical, sensory and cognitive challenges and a dentist specializing in geriatric needs will be familiar with the need to take additional care. Geriatric dentists understand how helpful it is to minimize noise and discomfort and provide compassionate comfort and distractions such as including caregivers in the process and keeping communication easily understandable and calming or offering favorite television or radio programs to entertain the patient during treatment.

Geriatric dentists also understand the patience needed for patients suffering from impairments such as physical disabilities or mental conditions like dementia and are considerate of the fact that it’s not always possible to complete everything necessary in one visit so can help by observing when it’s best to stop an exam or treatment and reschedule for a later time when the patient is better prepared or less stimulated.

Talk to a Geriatric Dentist

If you have questions about why geriatric dentistry is important, call a dental office specializing in geriatric dentistry and make an appointment for a consultation. When looking for dental care tailored to your needs, your safety, well-being and comfort should be a priority and you deserve the very best.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

February 1, 2021

If your dentist has offered you the option of dental implants or regular dentures. You may be wondering how they compare? Each has their own benefits and challenges, so which one is right for you? In this article, we’ll talk about what you need to know about dental implants and regular dentures so that you can make an informed decision that you feel comfortable with.

How are Dental Implants Different from Regular Dentures?

Dental implants are permanent replacements for a tooth or group of teeth that, like the name suggests, is permanently implanted beneath your gum line, while regular dentures are removable and fit over your gums with an adhesive material or solution to help hold them in place. When searching for what you need to know about dental implants compared to regular dentures, what you probably want to know is what advantages there are to implants.

There are many advantages to dental implants, most of which are that they behave like regular teeth. With implants your dental care routine will be much the same as before, you simply need to brush and floss them just like regular teeth. No need to worry about removing them after meals or overnight and soaking them in special cleaning solutions. There are also few dietary restrictions with dental implants compared to dentures, no need to worry about them falling out or having to give up your favorite foods just because the food is sticky or hard. Dental implants also benefit from longevity, in comparison to dentures which aren’t as secure or as close to natural teeth function and experience as implants may be.

Protecting Your Other Teeth

It’s also important to discuss the health and future of your whole mouth when considering what you need to know about dental implants. If you’re facing a tooth extraction, or several, the last thing you want to worry about is more tooth extractions in the future. Dental implants can actually help to protect the surrounding teeth by retaining the place of the extracted tooth in your jaw to prevent bone loss and so that your other healthy teeth are less likely to shift out of place or become loose which could lead to the need for other extractions.

How Long do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants usually last for the rest of a patient’s life. The crown, or the top part of an implant which looks like a regular tooth, can last 10 to 15 years depending on the quality of a patient’s home care routine.

Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

It is best if you are in good health and if you have good oral health, generally. It is important to have enough bone in your jaw to support the implant as well as healthy gums that are free of gum disease. It’s advantageous to talk to a dentist as soon as possible if there’s a possibility that you are facing tooth decay and extraction to ensure the best chance of candidacy for dental implants. If you are concerned about your oral health, talk with your dentist about what you need to know about dental implants and how you can implement a good home care routine to help improve your oral health and candidacy for implants.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

January 1, 2021

Dentures are just like natural teeth in that it’s important to take proper care of them to keep your smile looking its best and brightest. Some people think that it’s not important to clean dentures as often as natural teeth, but just like them, dentures can also pick up stains that can leave them looking less than their best. Sometimes it’s tempting to get creative, though, with the ways that dentures are cleaned, so read on for a list of how not to clean your dentures!

Why Care for Dentures is Important

The appearance of your dentures isn’t the only reason why it’s important to properly and routinely clean your dentures. Dentures that are not cleaned regularly can harbor food particles that can cause irritation, sore areas and even ulcers. Bacteria or fungus can also build up to cause an infection or fungal condition commonly known as thrush so it’s important to commit to routine care both for the health of your dentures, and for your oral health.

1. Avoid Brushing Them with Regular Toothpaste

Toothpastes that are recommended for natural teeth are not recommended for dentures because they contain abrasives that can damage the plastic, acrylic or other materials that dentures are made from that are softer than tooth enamel. Simply use a brush specifically designed for denture cleaning and brush them with warm water daily.

2. Avoid Using Bleach to Clean

Bleach is very harsh and can damage your dentures and discolor them, especially the color on the gum area of your dentures. Instead use only products that are recommended by the American Dental Association specifically for denture cleaning.

3. Avoid the Dishwasher or Using Boiling Water

Another important thing to remember for how not to clean your dentures is to avoid using extreme temperatures. The heat in the dishwasher, or boiling water can damage your dentures. As can the harsh dishwashing detergent. Heat could ultimately cause the dentures to warp or melt very quickly.

4. Avoid Using a Home Recipe to Soak

Avoid using a home recipe unless recommended by your dentist, regardless of the source. Home recipes are not tested or proven and can contain harsh chemicals or harsh natural ingredients that may be harmful to your dentures or your mouth and health.

It is important to remove your dentures every night and soak them after brushing to keep them from drying out. This can also sanitize them and prolong their lifespan. Make sure you use a product specifically created for dentures and that is recommended by the American Dental Association to ensure that it is safe.

5. Avoid Files or Sharp Objects

Another important rule of how not to clean your dentures is avoid the use any tools not made for denture cleaning. It may be tempting to scrape off stains with a file or other sharp object, but this will cause more problems in the future because it will leave rough surfaces that may collect more stains. If your dentures need to be cleaned or polished after your normal routine care, make an appointment and ask your dentist for a cleaning, just as you would with natural teeth.

6. Avoid Using Whitening Products

The ingredients in whitening toothpastes are designed to whiten tooth enamel, but will not work on dentures. Instead, they may cause erosion of the softer plastic and acrylic materials. Proper regular home care should keep most stains at bay and your dentures looking their best, but routine annual visits to your dentist for a professional cleaning are also important for the health of your mouth and may be able to remove the difficult stains that cannot be removed at home.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

December 1, 2020

Thankfully, with advances in dentistry, it isn’t always assumed that adults over 65 are going to have dentures. It is actually more likely that 75% of adults in that age bracket retain their own teeth. So, how can you keep your mouth young and healthy?

The Classics are Still, Well, Classic

Brushing, flossing, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding sugary or acidic foods still apply as much as ever. Adults above 65 are more at risk for tooth decay than school children, so impeccable dental hygiene can be helpful for oral health. As aging continues, gum lines may begin receding, which opens up the base of the teeth for cavities or gum disease. So as always don’t let up on oral hygiene. If you are suffering from arthritis or other issues which may make it difficult to hold and manipulate a toothbrush, going electric can be a wise decision that saves you much grief and frustration.

The Periodontist

With age, comes higher risk for gum disease. Don’t be afraid to see a periodontist, a specialist in the soft tissues of the mouth, to keep your mouth young and healthy! This can be helpful if you are dealing with symptoms of gum disease, as your periodontist can give you strategies or ideas for keeping your gums and your mouth young and healthy!

Keep it Comfortable!

Drinking plenty of water, and prioritizing eating foods that encourage good hydration can be very important to encourage production of saliva, one element of your mouth that can help hold off those pesky cavities and keep your mouth young. Drinking water often can go a long way towards this. Check with your dentist about other things that may be affecting your saliva production, since some medicines can do this, and make it just a little more difficult.

Be Diligent!

Consistent oral hygiene is one important ingredient in keeping your mouth young and healthy. Regular brushing and flossing, as always, are the body’s best defense against cavities!

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

November 2, 2020

Geriatric Dentistry, an important field of dentistry that can meet your needs uniquely, is an important tool in treating seniors in the dental office. Only you can help your dentist understand your situation well, and inform them so they may give you the best treatment possible. Here are 5 things your dentist needs to know to give you accurate helpful treatment.

Health History

Sharing your health history with your dentist can give them a picture of anything that may have impacted your oral health, and how to help you work with your current health condition. If you’re unsure of how the two interact, let your dentist know what concerns you have, and ask them how to handle them.

Medication List

Sharing information on what medication you take, at which dosages can help your dentist to know what may have an effect on your oral health, since symptoms or side effects such as dry mouth can make tooth decay more likely. Talk to your dentist about your medications, their side effects, and how to prioritize your oral health under those circumstances. This is one of the most important things your dentist needs to know.

Dental History

One of the more common things your dentist needs to know, whether they are a geriatric dentist or another type of dental provider, is your general dental history. Sharing your dental history with your dentist can give them a clearer picture of how to treat you, and what your overall oral health looks like.

Specific Concerns or Needs

If you have specific concerns or needs, let your dentist know. This helps them work with you where you are at while you are in the office. Let them know if there is any way they can make you more comfortable.

Caregiver Information

Although this is not on the required list of things your dentist needs to know, it can be helpful to let your Dentist know who your regular caregivers are, if you have any, and what kind of role they play in your medical and dental decision making. This can make it easier for your dentist and you to have anyone else you want in the loop, included in any discussions you may have.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

October 1, 2020

If you’ve experienced a tooth loss and you’re considering your options, it can be an important part of the process to compare implants or dentures. They are both different options that come with benefits and drawbacks. Read on to compare and consider which is right for you?

Dentures

If you’re considering implants or dentures, there are many things that set dentures apart, and are unique to them.
Dentures are a traditional and often used choice. They are more budget friendly, and come in a variety of ways, from partial to full dentures. They have a proven track record of success over generations of patients. They do not require the same level of gum and bone health as implants do, and they are generally non invasive when being fitted and used. They are also pretty quick turnaround from consult to dentures in hand.

Dentures may, however, allow for continued bone loss. Dentures can need informed and diligent care to prevent any infections or issues. They may even need to be adjusted as you age, and bone loss occurs. They do also have a learning curve, where the patient must acclimate their mouth to the new normal. This can affect speaking and eating.

Implants

As you consider implants or dentures, understand that although implants can initially involve a surgical process, their outcome can be incredibly successful, with up to a 95% success rate for some dental offices.
Implants are long lasting, and can hold up for almost 20 years, maybe even more. They act, feel, and can be cared for much like your original teeth, they even assist in preserving your facial structure and helping maintain bone structure. But they do require a good candidate who doesn’t have a lot of bone loss or gum disease to begin with. And they may be more of an investment initially in many ways.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

September 1, 2020

How to Prevent Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can be caused by a variety of factors, but no matter the cause, dry mouth can increase your risk of tooth decay. So how can you prevent dry mouth, or find a way to alleviate the impact of dry mouth?

Be Careful What You Eat

Caffeine can exacerbate dry mouth, as can alcohol, even in mouth washes. Both can impact how hydrated your body is, contributing to dehydration, which can greatly affect dry mouth symptoms. Choosing beverages that hydrate and refresh you may help your attempts to prevent dry mouth.

If you can, try to avoid dry mouth causing foods or beverages such as coffee, soda, alcohol, or tobacco. Try also to avoid energy drinks, soft drinks, and sweetened tea. These won’t help either. Cool clean water goes a long way when it comes to your dental health.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Using items such as Sugar Free Gum to encourage saliva production, or dental products containing Xylitol, can help. Mouthwashes designed for dry mouth can also contain xylitol and be a useful way to prevent further issues, and discourage tooth decay.

If your dry mouth is an ongoing problem, talk to your dentist about saliva substitutes, and which kind is most likely to help you.

Drink Often, Drink Well

Sipping water regularly can help clear debris and food off your teeth, and help with saliva production. Dehydration can contribute to dry mouth, as saliva will be produced less. Drinking water often, and drinking enough of it can help prevent dry mouth.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

August 3, 2020

What You Need to Know About Dentures

If you’re considering dentures, understanding a little more about how they work and how to care for them well may be on your radar. Read on to learn more about what you need to know about dentures.

They Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Dentures are not all full sets of teeth, but can come in partial or full sets depending on your needs. Dentures are generally used when you are missing more than one or two teeth, however.
Dentures are also used for all ages of patients who may be missing teeth due to tooth lost, teeth never coming in, or accidents.
From the time you and your dentist decide on dentures to when you are using your set can be several months. The process may require several dental visits, and preparation of your mouth for your set of dentures.

Cleaning Them Properly Is Important

It is important you clean your dentures as your dentist instructs. Do not use toothpaste or other abrasive materials to clean your dentures but rather warm soap and water. Keeping your dentures moist is also important between wears. Knowing about Dentures, can help in caring properly for your dentures. This can extend their life, and help keep them as comfortable and beautiful as possible.

Get Professional Repairs

Do not try to repair your dentures yourself, no matter how simple it may look or seem. Dentures are custom made to fit your mouth, and any repairs necessary can impact that fit and their use. It is also possible you may break them. In the long run it is cheaper to have them repaired by a knowledgeable professional, than to buy another new set. One thing you can know about dentures is, take good care of your dentures, and they’ll take good care of you!

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

July 2, 2020

The early form of gum disease, gingivitis may sound alarming, but it is preventable, and when present, treatable. Read on to find how good brushing affects gingivitis, and what you can do to prevent or treat early gum disease.

Gingivitis is Preventable

Gum disease begins when built up plaque irritates and harms gums, causing swelling, bleeding, and tenderness. Sometimes gum disease can be silently causing issues as well. But it is preventable, in that removing plaque thoroughly can keep gum disease at bay, and even treat the earliest stages, reversing it. This is just one way good brushing affects gingivitis. Also one important step in prevention and treatment is making an appointment for regular dental cleanings. This can reduce overall plaque build up, one of the underlying causes of gum disease.

Brushing is Powerful

Simply brushing affects gingivitis, but brushing and flossing well and often is more effective and thorough, and more likely to make an impact. Completing your oral hygiene routine twice a day, brushing for 2-3 minutes, and flossing well can protect your gums and teeth better from the effects of plaque than simply brushing once a day. Therapeutic mouthwash that is fluoridated can also be helpful in maintaining a clean and healthy mouth.

Treating Early Saves Time and Money

Taking prevention and early treatment seriously can be a smart choice. Advanced gum disease can require scaling and root planing, and even some surgical treatments may be required, such as pocket reduction, or gum and bone grafts. Periodontitis that requires such drastic treatments is entirely preventable however, and no matter the stage of gum disease, the form of treatment for that stage includes impeccable oral hygiene. Prioritize oral hygiene now, and remember that good brushing affects gingivitis and you may save time and money in the long run.

Call our Greenwood Village Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

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