52016Oct

PERIODONTAL DISEASE IN THE ELDER: MANAGEMENT

  1. The elderly people are the growing group people and their teeth needs to be retained for longer so the requirements for dental treatment in this age group are increasing. And also, there is a higher chance of finding increased levels of periodontal pocketing in the elderly.
  2. The consequence of untreated disease like periodontitis is tooth loss, which impacts directly on nutrition, quality of life, self esteem, whole body wellbeing and aesthetics of a patient. It is also associated with serious systemic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  3. When the gums pull away from teeth, the roots of your teeth which were earlier covered are left bared and exposed and this puts your dental health at risk for decay and damage. If they are left untreated, receding gums will lead to functional and aesthetic problems.
  4. Periodontal tissues undergoes changes like reduction in epithelial thickness, reduced keratinisation, reduced blood supply, reduced cell turnover, reduced saliva production as a result of periodontitis.
  5. Immune function is also affected and it results in reduced activity and function of lymphocytes, reduced antioxidant levels, reduced cytokine production, reduced neutrophil chemotaxis therefore resulting in reduced ability to resist infection and heal.
  6. Debilitating diseases such as stroke and arthritis can significantly affect a patient’s ability to perform oral hygiene techniques. We can help these patients by suggesting a powered brush or you may also customize the brush to help the grip. Guide and help them perform their oral hygiene regime. Always give positive reinforcement to older patients about oral hygiene and encourage them to maintain it.

 

What Are The Treatment Options?

  1. Scaling and roots planning, stabilization of the teeth is first line of treatment if the recession is caused by periodontal disease. Oral hygiene maintenance is extremely important to avoid further gum recession and bone loss.
  2. In case of overaggressive brushing, visit your dentist and he can help you by demonstrating the proper brushing technique and recommending the best oral hygiene tools according to your requirement.
  3. By eating healthy, fibrous food, maintaining a balanced diet, smoking cessation and regular use of dental appliances for your grinding habit can also prevent the gingival recession.
  4. If you experience hypersensitivity to cold and hot drinks or food, consult your dentist. If the damage to teeth is less, then it can be corrected by desensitizing agents, varnishes and dentine bonding agents. He may recommend specific toothpaste and mouthwash to reduce the sensitivity.