Interlachen Dental Associates
 
 
Find Us On:
 
 
5101 Vernon Ave, Edina, MN 55436
info@interlachendental.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Senior Dental Concerns

Are there things that I need to be aware of as a senior?
People who develop good oral hygiene habits early in life have a better chance of keeping their teeth all through their life. That's why it is important to brush twice a day, floss once a day, rinse with an antiseptic mouth rinse (such as Listerine) and visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular examinations and cleanings.

There may be some changes to your teeth and gum tissue that may occur such as, your teeth may darken in color and your gum tissue may recede and uncover the roots of your teeth. You may be more prone to gingivitis or periodontal disease. Dry mouth is caused by improperly functioning salivary glands. Salivary flow may be reduced. Saliva is necessary to lubricate and wash away plaque. This may also be caused by a medical condition or medication that you are taking. This condition may accelerate tooth decay or periodontal disease. That is why it is so important to maintain a healthy diet that limits or avoids sweets, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco use and good oral hygiene and schedule regular appointments for professional cleanings and examinations with your dentist. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.

Do certain medications affect my oral health?
Yes. Many medications can cause a reduced salivary flow which can lead to periodontal disease or tooth decay or bad breath. That is why it is so important to maintain a healthy diet and good oral hygiene and schedule regular appointments for professional cleanings and examinations with your dentist. It is necessary for you to make a list of all medications (over the counter and prescription) and bring to your next dental visit and update our dental office if any of these medications change. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.

How does diabetes affect my oral health?

As you know, diabetes can affect many parts of your body, including your oral health. Some of the oral health problems that are associated with diabetes are tooth decay, periodontal disease, salivary dysfunction are to name a few. If you notice that you have bleeding gum tissue, red, swollen or tender gums, gums that are receding or are pulling away from your teeth or persistent bad breath or have a bad taste in your mouth you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson as soon as possible. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org.

Do I need to take an antibiotic before my dental appointments?
If you have certain kinds of heart disease or have had a joint replaced or have had some other artificial implant such as a pacemaker. You physician will let you know if this is necessary. For more information visit the American Heat Association's website at http://www.americanheart.org. The American Heart Association publishes the more current guidelines and recommended use of preventive antibiotics.

The reason that it is necessary to pre-medicate with antibiotics prior to dental appointments for people with these conditions is because bleeding can sometimes occur during dental treatment. As a result, bacteria from your mouth can possibly enter your bloodstream and work it way to your heart which could cause a condition that is called bacterial endocarditic or could travel to your artificial joint. By taking preventive antibiotics, you can reduce that risk. For more information, talk with your physician/surgeon, Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit that American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org or visit the American Heart Association's website at http://www.ada.org.

Is tobacco use bad for my teeth?
Yes. Tobacco is harmful to your teeth and all of the tissue in your mouth. It can cause stains on your teeth and cause bad breath. But the most import issue to your oral health is that tobacco use has been identified as a major risk factor for the development of oral cancer. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at http://www.ada.org