Geriatric dentistry, also known as geriodontics, is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of elderly people. It addresses the unique dental needs and challenges of older adults, who may have a higher risk for dental problems due to age-related changes and medical conditions.
Some of the common dental issues that affect older adults include:
- Gum disease: Older adults may be at a higher risk for gum disease due to age-related changes in the mouth and a higher prevalence of chronic medical conditions.
- Tooth decay: Tooth decay can occur at any age, but older adults may be at a higher risk due to a higher consumption of sugary medications and drinks.
- Dry mouth: Medications commonly used by older adults can cause dry mouth, which can lead to an increased risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
- Tooth loss: Older adults are more likely to have missing teeth due to age-related changes in the mouth, dental diseases, and other factors.
Geriatric dentistry involves a range of dental services, including routine dental exams, cleanings, restorative treatments, and denture care. Dental professionals who specialize in geriatric dentistry are trained to provide gentle, compassionate care that addresses the unique needs and concerns of older adults.
Geriatric dentistry also focuses on preventative care, which can help older adults maintain good oral health and prevent dental problems before they occur. This may include regular dental cleanings, fluoride treatments, and oral health education.
Overall, geriatric dentistry plays a crucial role in ensuring that older adults can maintain good oral health and enjoy a high quality of life. By addressing the unique dental needs and challenges of older adults, geriatric dentistry can help seniors maintain their independence, nutrition, and overall health.