Concerns for Older Adults

Different age groups have different areas of concern when it comes to oral health. For my Jacksonville patients who are older than 60, some of the following concerns may be worth discussing during your next visit.

Affects of Medication

The link between prescription medication and oral health is surprisingly strong.

Dry mouth is one of the most common side effects of medication taken by older adults for a range of conditions, including: allergies or asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pain, anxiety or depression, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases (among others). It is also one of the main causes for cavities. We should definitely discuss a treatment plan if you take medication for one (or more) of those conditions or if you feel like you aren’t producing as much saliva as you used to.

Mouth Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, there are about 35,000 cases of mouth, throat, and tongue cancer diagnosed each year. The average age of most people diagnosed with these cancers is 62.

Our staff is highly trained to identify signs of mouth cancer in all its forms and stages. We make it a part of our regular check-ups and can answer any questions you have about potential symptoms.

Gum Disease

One reason gum disease is so widespread among older adults is that it’s often a painless condition until the advanced stage. Luckily, attending your regular check-ups is a great way to prevent gum disease, or catch it before it gets too advanced.

Affordability

This is a huge concern for many patients. But for older adults who have retired, the cost of dental care can be a shock. Medicare does not cover routine dental care, and the number of discount plans, insurance coverages, and financing options can be dizzying to say the least.

Our office not only understands the current economic landscape, but we also strive to make sure you get the very best care at the most affordable prices. We’ll work with your insurance provider to make sure you are paying the lowest out-of-pocket expense possible. We’ll detail our pre-payment discounts as well as our scheduled monthly payment plans. We want you to have a healthy smile and we don’t want to ruin your retirement in the process.

Summary

Check out the American Dental Association’s website, www.mouthhealthy.org, for more information on the oral health concerns unique to different age groups. If you have concerns about any of the issues raised in this post, or if you’d like to tell us what you think about it, we’d be happy to hear from you. Call us at 904-384-4391, send us a message on Facebook, or email us at drrittenberg@drrittenberg.com.