Dental caries in elderly patients are tiny holes in the teeth. They begin with tooth surface demineralization and generally develop into chronic, progressive tooth deterioration. And they’re really frequent! So caries will affect the majority of us at some point.
Caries is a progressive infectious dental problem in older adults that, if left untreated, destroys the oral organ and can harm adjacent tissues. According to the WHO, it is the third worldwide scourge impacting people of all ages.
As reported by the CDC, the elderly with the worst oral health are those who are economically challenged, without insurance and belong to racial and ethnic minorities. Being handicapped, homebound, or institutionalized (for example, nursing house residents) increases the likelihood of poor oral health. People aged 50 and up who smoke are also less likely to seek dental treatment than nonsmokers. Many older people lack dental coverage because they lost their benefits when they retired, and the government Medicare program does not cover normal dental treatment.
The following are examples of oral health issues in elderly adults:
The concepts “dental caries” and “cavities” are sometimes used interchangeably. However, they are not synonymous. Caries is the medical name for tooth decay. The presence of caries/tooth decay is referred to as a “cavity.” More than only dental caries cause cavities. A damaged tooth or a fractured filling can also cause a cavity.
The causes of dental caries are not all the same. Therefore, Caries are classified differently by dentists and scientists. Dental caries can be classified as follows:
There are two types of dental caries: non-cavitated and cavitated. The phrase non-cavitated refers to the formation of a caries lesion before cavitation. On the other hand, the term cavitated refers to a lack of surface integrity.
Caries can manifest themselves in two ways: occlusal caries and interproximal caries. Occlusal caries grow on the top of the tooth and are easily visible. Interproximal caries form between teeth and may go undetected in the early stages.
Dental caries do not appear out of nowhere. They emerge gradually. Tooth decay is caused by a variety of factors, including:
The development of tooth decay is a straightforward procedure. It all boils down to plaque, a transparent and sticky film that covers the teeth. The plaque often accumulates owing to a heavy diet of sweets and carbohydrates and inadequate tooth care. Bacteria in the mouth quickly feed on particles like sugars and starches, resulting in plaque.
Moreover, plaque can adhere to the teeth and develop into tartar. Plaque contains acids, which attack and erode the enamel. This is especially simple if your enamel is already compromised.
The erosion causes microscopic holes in the enamel, which is the initial stage of cavity formation. Bacteria and acids can enter the dentin through these perforations. If not handled appropriately, bacteria and acids continue to march to other structures in the tooth, such as the pulp, causing further pain and exacerbating caries.
According to the place and amount of caries, the symptoms may differ. Other folks may have no symptoms at all. Asymptomatic caries is most common in its early phases. When tooth decay progresses, it can cause symptoms such as:
Dental caries symptoms might be severe in certain circumstances. These include extreme swelling or discomfort in the jawbone and a severe toothache that does not resolve with pain medicines. The occurrence of significant symptoms necessitates rapid medical attention.
Dental cavities in elderly patients are avoidable, but you must be proactive. Here are some pointers for you to start:
How to take care of dental caries? Fortunately, dental caries can be treated. The first step is to locate a dentist in your area and make an appointment. Then, according to the extent of your caries, your dentist can prescribe the best treatment option. There are several therapy options available, including:
Now, we want to learn how to control dental caries. If you do not seek treatment, your dental caries will worsen. People frequently make the mistake of believing that if it does not hurt, there is no need to do anything. Caries, on the other hand, can develop and cause issues in the long run if not treated promptly. The following complications may emerge if dental caries is not treated:
Frequent dental examinations are critical for the prevention and prompt treatment of dental cavities. However, you may avoid the issues mentioned above this way.
Every day of our lives, we utilize our mouths. To breathe, speak, drink, dine, and engage in other activities that might impact our general health.
Teeth and gums, like all other tissues in the body, age. Yet, if greater attention is devoted to their care, the degeneration of the mouth can be delayed.
In old age, the chances of developing various diseases, including periodontal disease or caries, grow and are aided by the negative effects on the mouth of using dental prostheses or taking certain drugs. In addition, using the dental prosthesis or administering certain drugs might have adverse effects on the mouth.
What happens in elderly folks if adequate oral hygiene is not practiced or is ignored during this stage? The following are the key consequences:
If you are looking for pediatrics and geriatric dental services, you have come to the right place. Dr. Foroughi of Atrium Dental in Phoenix, Arizona, offers the best and most affordable pediatric and geriatric dental services. Dr. Foroughi is a one-of-a-kind dentist. Dr. Foroughi takes a kind approach, assuaging any fears you may have with useful patient information. Dr. Foroughi listens carefully to fully comprehend your requirements. Finally, utilizing specialized knowledge of the most recent breakthroughs in dental technology, Dr. Foroughi attempts to give the highest degree of customized dental treatment.
To discuss our dental services for the elderly with an expert team of dentists, schedule a consultation session at (480) 940-4321, and fill out our online appointment form.