Common Dental Problems For People Over Age 50

Since I began writing articles for the Valencia Lakes Neighbors magazine 2 ½ years ago, I have had the pleasure of welcoming more than 100 new patients from Valencia Lakes into our practice! I enjoy working with patients from your community because you enjoy life to the fullest and you place great value on your health.

I’ve often been asked, “What is the number one problem that you’ve helped your Valencia Lakes patients with?” While there is no “typical” dental case, there are a few issues we commonly see among patients over the age of 50.

Deteriorating Dentistry

An example of old dentistry that has been replaced

An example of old dentistry that has been replaced

What I find very often is that the existing dentistry – even that which was done well – has begun to break down and needs to be replaced. Teeth with old crowns, which can leak, or silver fillings can create serious problems in the mouth. If this dentistry is no longer sealing the tooth, bacteria will seep under existing restoration, putting the tooth at risk of fracture and the nerve at risk of inflammation.

If this should happen, these teeth may need root canal treatment to save them or may need to be extracted and replaced with a dental implant. To avoid more invasive dentistry, get the failing restorations replaced when there are early signs of problems.

Decay At The Gum Line

Here you can see where gum recession has exposed this patient’s roots

Adults over the age of 50 may have decreased salivary flow and a higher incidence of gum recession. When the gum recedes, it exposes root surfaces and also makes patients more susceptible to root caries. The root is not covered by enamel, and with no protective coating, affected teeth are at greater risk of decay reaching the nerve.

Root recession issues may be mitigated with gum grafting and supplemental fluoride to harden root surfaces. Cleanings may also need to be increased to three to four times a year to manage this risk.


B_A esthetics

Before and after a cosmetic smile makeover

Many patients from Valencia Lakes are also concerned with the esthetics of their smile. Once we determine that everything else in the mouth is healthy, we can direct our focus to creating the smile you have always desired.

There are many new non-invasive techniques and procedures, such as DURAthin veneers, Invisalign and teeth whitening that can help achieve a beautiful smile that looks natural and allows you to smile with confidence.

Dentists can see signs of these problems before patients feel the painful symptoms or need more complicated treatments, so be proactive in identifying and repairing these issues now. Get your dental house in order in your 60s and then you can coast to your 90s and beyond.


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