Oral health affects your quality of life and overall wellbeing. Older adults experience various oral health problems and are more vulnerable than younger generations. However, prompt intervention can help minimize the repercussions of some of these conditions. This piece covers several health problems that are common among the elderly.
When you have several missing teeth, you may struggle to smile, talk, or eat properly. Your dentist may recommend partial or full dentures. But even transitioning to a life with dentures can be difficult if you don’t know what to do. Read on to learn about five important tips for living with dentures.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection in the gingival tissues of the mouth. Gum disease can develop rapidly, and many people don’t even know they have it.
Early-stage gum disease is nothing to be afraid of. But if left untreated, gum disease complications can range from embarrassing to life-threatening.
Some of the most common complications from untreated gum disease include the following.
1. Tooth Loss
When gum disease goes untreated, the supportive tissues holding your teeth in place weaken over time. As the gums weaken and become inflamed, they pull away from the teeth.
As the pockets between teeth and gums grow deeper, they create space for harmful bacteria to hide and multiply. The bacteria can cause an infection that leads to bone damage and weakened tooth structures. As a result, teeth become loose and fall out.
Gum disease is often detected first by swollen or red gums. Gum swelling and redness occur because plaque and tartar have built up under the gum line. Besides the irritation, the build-up can also cause your gums to become tender and bleed when brushing.
If you notice that your gums are swollen or red, see your dentist as soon as possible for early treatment. Identifying the condition early can help reverse gingivitis with simple home care routines and a few dental visits.
3. Chronic Bad Breath
Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, can result from various factors, one of which is gum disease.
Amongst patients with gum disease, bacteria build-up is the primary source of bad breath. The bacteria release volatile sulfur compounds that cause a person’s breath to smell unpleasant.
In the case of gum-disease-caused halitosis, you can remedy the condition by treating the underlying gum issue.
4. Recessed Gums
Gum recession is a common sign of advanced gum disease. Over time, infected gums will begin to pull away from the teeth and recede downwards, eventually exposing the root and tooth socket.
Recessed gums can result in pain, sensitivity, and an unattractive appearance. In some cases, recessed gums may become so severe they require surgical correction.
5. Systemic Diseases
The negative effects of gum disease extend well beyond your mouth. Untreated, periodontal disease can increase your risk of developing several other critical conditions. The diseases include:
Diabetes – People with gum disease are more likely to have diabetes, and patients with diabetes are more prone to developing gum disease. The bacteria that cause gum disease enter the bloodstream, travel to organs, and bind themselves to cells, causing an inflammatory response. The inflammation induces insulin resistance, making it difficult for your body to regulate blood sugar levels.
Cardiovascular disease – Recent research has shown connections between periodontal disease and heart attacks. The association does not directly mean having periodontitis causes heart attacks or strokes, but the two have a strong correlation.
Periodontitis causes inflammation in your gums, which can enter your bloodstream. The inflammation can then reach other body areas, like your heart, and negatively impact body functions.
Gum inflammation can also contribute to increased C-reactive protein levels in blood vessels. The protein builds up in the arteries and restricts blood flow to the heart muscle — a condition known as arteriosclerosis. Atherosclerosis may increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
While gum disease is a prevalent condition, no one should have to live with the pain and its discomforts. Not everyone experiences complications as a direct result of gum disease. However, you should visit your dentist if you have any concerns about periodontitis. A professional will be able to diagnose and effectively treat the condition.
If you notice any signs of periodontal disease or other dental issues, contact Apollo Dental to schedule an appointment.
Although Apollo Dental does not offer sedation options as part of your dental care with us, sedation is a popular resource in the dental industry that we believe our patients should know more about.
Many individuals are afraid of visiting a dentist and cannot bear the thought of having to go through a dental operation. Luckily, many dentists use painkillers and anesthetics to make this procedure painless.
Unfortunately, making this procedure painless is not enough for some patients. For this reason, most dentists prefer using sedation. Sedation dentistry is a common dental procedure in which your dentist gives you a sedative to reduce your awareness of the procedure. As a result, your level of anxiety will reduce, and you will remain comfortable throughout the whole procedure.
This article highlights the three common types of dental sedation.
Laughing gas, also known as Nitrous Oxide, is the commonly used dental sedation method for people with mild anxiety.
During this procedure, your dentist will put a small inhaler mask over your nose and allow you to breathe in the gas. As soon as you inhale the gas, you will feel the effects quickly. Your dentist will keep regulating the amount of sedation accordingly throughout the procedure. When the procedure is over, your dentist will give you oxygen to flush the gas from your system.
The sedation effects of laughing gas are mild. This gas allows you to remain awake during the procedure. In addition, since this sedative is a gas, its effects will wear off quickly. Therefore, your dentist can allow you to drive yourself home once the procedure is done.
Oral sedation is a type of sedation administered orally, usually in pill form. The main aim of this type of sedation is to keep you conscious and relaxed throughout the whole procedure so you can cooperate with your dentist if need be. For instance, your dentist may ask you to tilt your head to access your tooth easily. However, you may feel drowsy and fall asleep depending on the dosage administered.
Before you take the oral sedation pill, your dentist will discuss the type of medication that works for you while considering your dental treatment schedule, the length of the treatment procedure, and your medical history. Oral sedative effects may take up to a day to wear off. Therefore, you may need someone to drive you home after the procedure.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
IV sedation involves injecting a sedative directly into your bloodstream through an IV line. Since the sedative is administered directly into your blood, it will take effect immediately. After some seconds, you will feel completely relaxed. You may also fall into a deep sleep, but you will be conscious. However, you may not remember any details of the procedure afterward.
There are two types of IV dental sedation:
Twilight IV sedation. This type of dental sedation is quite similar to oral sedation, only this method involves injecting the sedative into your bloodstream. This method is suitable for long dental procedures since your dentist can regulate the dosage during the procedure.
General anesthesia. This type of sedation is useful when a patient requires major oral surgery. When your dentist administers this type of sedative, you will become completely unconscious until your anesthesiologist awakens you.
When you’re under IV sedation, your dentist may hook you to a machine to monitor your blood pressure and your heart and breathing rate, depending on your health condition.
Visiting your dentist should be a relishing experience. However, you may feel anxious considering the pain associated with dental procedures. To conquer this fear, book an appointment with one of the friendly dentists from Apollo Dental or call us for more information about dental sedation. We look forward to taking care of all of your dental health needs.
Your weight and oral health have a strong connection. You need to understand the connection to help you maintain a healthy weight and oral health. Below are three connections between unhealthy weight and poor oral health.
Unless you have a dental emergency, you usually have to make an appointment to get dental treatment. Unfortunately, some people make appointments and then cancel at the last minute or fail to show up. Those who cancel their appointments have good reasons, but you should always strive to keep your appointments.
Tobacco use is not only bad for your overall health, but it also increases your chance of tooth loss. Tobacco contains several chemicals that directly affect the function and structure of your nerves, blood, and bones. Therefore, you need to be extra diligent about your oral hygiene if you use tobacco products. Here is more information about how tobacco products affect your teeth and other parts of your mouth.
Ways Tobacco Ruins Teeth
No matter how you use tobacco, the substance will have a noticeable effect on your teeth. If you fail to take action, then you may have more serious complications over time. Here are some examples of common tobacco-related problems.
All types of tobacco use leave stains on your teeth. These stains may be difficult to remove without special treatment. Several smoker’s toothpastes and other related products are on the market and may help with this problem. However, if you wait too long to address the problem, the stains could become very deep and possibly permanent.
If there is one type of tooth that needs removal more often than any other, it’s wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth often emerge much later than the rest of your teeth, and because many people’s mouths are too small to accommodate a third row of molars, complications can ensue. Here is an overview of the signs that you may need your wisdom teeth removed.
1. Crowding or Impacted Teeth
Wisdom teeth are prone to growing in at an angle, and there are several reasons for this. For starters, these teeth can simply form at an angle. Wisdom teeth can also get lodged under the tooth in front of them and grow at an angle. In many cases, wisdom teeth are aligned crooked enough that they don’t emerge from the gums at all.
While there is not definitive research stating that angled wisdom teeth can lead to whole-mouth crowding, these teeth can certainly crowd the second molars adjacent to them. This can cause the wisdom tooth or second molar to crack, and it also promotes the formation of gum pockets behind the second molar that can trap bacteria and lead to infection.