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Concerns about dental care in the elderly

Do I need to worry about cavities if I am an older person?

Yes, caries can actually be more frequent in older adults than in other segments of the population for several reasons:

  • Less exposure to fluoride and dental care during childhood
  • Greater chance of developing cavities around old fillings
  • More risk of decay in the root of the teeth due to gum retraction and greater exposure of the root surface
  • Less saliva in the mouth due to age or certain medications, which favors the appearance of cavities. Saliva drags and cleans the remains of food, neutralizes acids and hinders the formation of plaque and the action of the bacteria responsible for caries

My teeth have suddenly become very sensitive to cold and heat, but my mouth is healthy. Why can this be?

The retraction of the gums can cause hypersensitivity in the teeth. As the gum tissue recedes, the root of the teeth is exposed and this causes over sensitivity. Bad brushing techniques, unsuitable toothpastes, masticatory dysfunction, crowding, clenching and bruxism are some of the main aggravating factors

The treatment to solve the problem can be the use of mouthwashes with fluoride or change the dentifrice for a specific one for sensitive teeth and learn a good hygiene technique with appropriate brushes of soft bristles. In other cases it may be necessary to perform a soft tissue graft that covers the exposure of the root dentine. Your dentist is the one who can diagnose the problem and treat it in the most appropriate way.

Is orthodontics a valid option in older people?

There is no age limit for correcting misplaced or crowded teeth. The mechanical process used to move the teeth is the same regardless of age. Therefore, the effects of an orthodontic treatment will benefit both young people and adults when it comes to improving the function of the mouth and its appearance.

The main difference between children and adults is that certain types of corrections are more complicated and take longer in adults because their bones are no longer growing.