Dental Exams for Seniors

By Rafael Mercado, DDS on September 12, 2020

Older patients face special dental needs that can affect their oral and general health. Dentists recommend regular dental exams for seniors. In our Castle Hills, TX, office, Dentist Rafael Mercado thoroughly assesses the oral cavity, including the teeth, gums, jawbone, tongue, and surrounding tissues. He looks for any signs of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and problems with existing restorations.

After the exam, Dr. Mercado will discuss any issues he might have encountered. Additionally, he works with patients to develop customized treatment programs. Our goal is to provide improved oral health and quality of life. 

Importance of Senior Dental Exams

Research shows that there is a link between gum disease and heart disease. The bacteria associated with gum disease can travel through the bloodstream into the body. This can cause inflammation and affect the blood vessels of the heart. Additionally, older adults can develop pneumonia due to breathing in bacteria from the mouth to the lungs. 

Conversely, poor oral hygiene can make existing health conditions worse. If you have diabetes, gum disease can affect your ability to produce insulin. Improved oral care aids your body in stabilizing your insulin levels. At our Castle Hills office, the dentist provides thorough dental cleanings to promote better health.

What to Expect

During a senior dental exam at our Castle Hills office, we visually examine the oral cavity. The dentist will check the teeth for any signs of chips, breaks, decay, discoloration, or mobility. Dr. Mercado also looks at the gums to check for inflammation, bleeding, or pus during a periodontal exam. He will measure the pocket around each tooth to determine if bone loss has occurred.

For a more comprehensive look, we can take x-rays of your mouth to check for a loss of bone density. Your exam also includes an oral cancer screening. During the assessment, the doctor will check for pain, tenderness, and tissues that appear different in color. If needed, the dentist will send collected samples to the lab to determine if cancer is present.

Restoration Options

Our office provides a variety of restoration options to enhance your oral care. These choices include:

  • Bridges: This restoration bridges the gap when you have missing teeth. They are available in various materials.
  • Crowns: These are placed over a damaged tooth to improve size, shape, strength, and appearance.
  • Dentures: Whether a patient is missing all or most of their teeth, dentures are a great option. This appliance allows you to chew, bite, and speak freely.
  • Dental Implants: Custom-made implants mimic the look of real teeth and provide a permanent solution for tooth loss.

Your dentist will determine the best option for you. In some cases, the doctor combines multiple treatments for full-smile restoration.

Improving Oral Care

After your exam, the dentist provides you with a personalized treatment plan to ensure optimal oral care, and will recommend how often you need check-ups. To improve your oral hygiene, you should brush and floss at least twice daily. 

Schedule a Dental Exam

To maintain and restore your oral health, contact our office at (210) 405-1257 for a dental exam. We customize each treatment plan to meet individual needs.