As we age, our bodies undergo numerous changes. One of the most common changes that occur in seniors is the increased risk of sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth are a common dental problem among seniors, and it can be challenging to manage.
This blog post will discuss the causes of sensitive teeth in seniors, prevention tips, and treatment options.
What are Sensitive Teeth?
Sensitive teeth refer to the discomfort or pain experienced when consuming hot, cold, sweet, or acidic food or drinks. This pain is due to the exposure of dentin, which is the softer tissue beneath the enamel. The dentin has tiny tubes that lead to the nerves in the teeth. When the dentin is exposed, these nerves can be stimulated by external stimuli, leading to sensitivity.
Why Seniors Are More At Risk?
Seniors are more prone to sensitive teeth due to various reasons. As we age, the gum tissues tend to recede, exposing the sensitive root surfaces. This exposes the dentin, leading to sensitivity. Moreover, seniors are more prone to tooth decay, erosion, and cracking, leading to sensitivity. Dental procedures, such as teeth whitening, can also cause sensitivity.
Causes of Sensitive Teeth in Seniors:
There are numerous causes of sensitive teeth in seniors, some of which are:
- Gum recession: Gum recession is common in seniors, which can expose the sensitive root surfaces, leading to sensitivity.
- Tooth decay: Seniors are more prone to tooth decay due to their age, lifestyle habits, and weakened immune system. Tooth decay can expose the dentin, leading to sensitivity.
- Tooth erosion: Tooth erosion is a common dental problem among seniors, which can be due to acidic food or drinks or certain medical conditions.
- Cracked or broken teeth: Seniors are more prone to cracked or broken teeth due to weakened enamel, tooth decay, or injuries.
- Dental procedures: Certain dental procedures, such as teeth whitening, fillings, or crown placement, can lead to sensitivity.
Prevention Tips for Seniors:
Prevention is the best way to manage sensitive teeth. There are several prevention tips that seniors can follow to reduce the risk of sensitivity and maintain good oral health. These tips include:
- Brushing techniques: Seniors should brush their teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush. They should avoid using a hard-bristled brush or brushing too aggressively, as this can damage the enamel and cause sensitivity. Instead, they should use gentle circular motions and ensure that they brush all surfaces of their teeth and gums.
- Flossing: Flossing is an essential part of oral hygiene that helps in removing food particles and plaque from between gums and teeth. Seniors should floss at least once a day, using a gentle sawing motion to avoid damaging the gum tissues.
- Mouthwash: Using a fluoride mouthwash can help strengthen the enamel and reduce the risk of decay and sensitivity. Seniors should swish the mouthwash around their mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.
- Diet: Seniors should avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks that can erode the enamel and cause sensitivity. They should eat a balanced diet rich in calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D to promote strong teeth and bones.
- Regular dental checkups: Seniors should visit their dental labs NYC regularly for checkups and cleanings. Regular dental checkups can help in detecting dental problems early and prevent them from progressing into more severe conditions.
- Use a mouthguard: If seniors grind their teeth at night or play contact sports, they should consider wearing a mouthguard. A mouthguard can protect the teeth from damage and reduce the risk of sensitivity.
Treatment Options for Sensitive Teeth
There are several treatment options available for seniors with sensitive teeth, including:
- Desensitizing toothpaste: This toothpaste contains compounds that block the nerve endings in the teeth, reducing sensitivity.
- Fluoride treatment: Fluoride treatment can help strengthen the enamel and reduce sensitivity.
- Dental crowns: Dental crowns are a viable option for seniors with cracked or broken teeth.
- Root canal: If the sensitivity is due to a severe infection or decay, a root canal may be necessary in removing the infected tissue and preserve the tooth.
- Gum graft: If gum recession is causing sensitivity, a gum graft can be performed to cover the exposed root surface.
In conclusion, sensitive teeth are a common dental problem among seniors, but several prevention tips and treatment options are available. Seniors should follow a proper oral hygiene routine, avoid sugary and acidic foods, and regularly visit their “dental crown labs near me” for checkups and cleanings. If sensitivity persists, seniors should seek professional dental care to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment. By taking care of their teeth, seniors can maintain good oral health and overall well-being.