Plaza Dental Group 515 612 7148  1089 Jordan Creek Pkwy #100, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Tag: Elderly Dental Problems

Elderly Dental Problems: How to Address and Prevent Them

Elderly Dental Problems: How to Address and Prevent Them

Elderly Dental Problems: How to Address and Prevent Them


As you grow old, you may face a few challenges in maintaining a healthy smile. This is because aging makes you more susceptible to many oral health problems. However, dental health among seniors has greatly improved in recent years. Advanced dentistry makes it possible to address and prevent elderly dental problems effectively.

Common Elderly Dental Problems

Aging puts many older adults at risk for several oral health problems including:

1. Darkened Teeth

With age, the bone-like tissue (the dentin) that lies beneath the tooth enamel changes due to the beverage and foods consumed by us. In addition to teeth discoloration, the diminishing outer enamel layer allows the yellow dentin to become visible, causing darkened teeth.

2. Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a common condition among elderly patients which frequently leads to cavities. The problem is not age related, but the dry mouth has been listed as a side effect by some prescription medications used to treat diseases including depression, pain, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.

3. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a major problem among the elderly. Plaque buildup and tartar mostly contribute to tooth decay. Over time, gum recession can take place, exposing the roots of the tooth. Tooth decay results in cavities that cause pain, inflammation, infection, and even tooth loss. 

4. Gum Disease

Gum disease in the elderly is a frequent occurrence. Since gum disease develops over a longer period of time, older citizens are more likely to experience problems with gum disease than younger people.

5. Tooth Loss

Tooth loss in seniors is a common issue. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 27.27% of elders over the age of 65 have their remaining teeth missing. Smoking and poor dental hygiene mainly contribute to tooth loss among seniors.

6. Bad Breath

Older adults often suffer from bad breath. However, bad breath isn’t a stand-alone symptom as it is linked to underlying problems such as the dry mouth and periodontal disease. Poor dental hygiene can also lead to bad breath. 

Tips to Address and Prevent Dental Problems in the Elderly

As a senior citizen, you can enjoy good oral health by making informed decisions and taking proper care of your teeth and gums. Here are some oral care tips to preserve good oral hygiene:

  • Brush twice daily with a toothpaste that has fluoride in it.
  • Floss once a day
  • Pay regular visits to your dentist for a dental cleaning and oral exam
  • Use antibacterial mouthwash to rinse off bacteria to prevent the plaque buildup and gum disease
  • Change your toothbrush every 3 -4 months, or earlier if the bristles become tattered
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit consumption of highly sugary food and beverages
  • Increase your calcium intake to strengthen your teeth
  • Clean your dentures regularly with denture cleaners
  • Remove your dentures from your mouth every four hours to maintain your mouth health

As you age, it’s essential to remember these potential risks and act accordingly. You can enjoy a sparkling, healthy smile with the help of your dentist and the right dental care. 

Contact us to learn how to maintain excellent oral health even in your senior years. Schedule your dental appointment with one of our Des Moines dentists today!

Plaza Dental Group

Plaza Dental Group is a leading group of dentists in Des Moines, IA that provides high-quality dentistry in a comfortable and stress-free environment. We have a team of caring and highly-skilled professionals that uses state-of-the-art technology and delivers excellent service to the patients. Request an appointment today!

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4.5
Based on 146 reviews
I’ve been so impressed and grateful for the care I’ve received at Plaza Dental! From cleanings to potential periodontal issues, Lacey and Dr. J have been on top of my progress. Highly educated, thorough, incredibly friendly, and patient-focused. I would highly recommend them!
Cynthia Shidler
Cynthia Shidler
The Plaza Dental staff is just the BEST! I always enjoy coming in for my cleanings and my Invisalign appointments. I always feel at home like I'm a part of the family. Thank you all for that. A big shoutout to Dr. Dietrich, Susan (Suzie), and Noel. I love you guys so much!!!! Thank you all for your contribution on this journey to a beautiful smile. Xoxo!!!!read more
Savion Solé
Savion Solé
My experience was amazing! Everyone was so kind and answered all my questions. I am usually one who has a fear of dentist, but I felt so comfortable and relaxed which I have never experienced at a dental office before.
Taylor Moore
Taylor Moore
My experience with the Plaza Dental Group has been amazing! The receptionist was delightful when I initially called to schedule my appointment. She had me laughing. I was warmly greeted and didn't have to wait long. They were non judgemental and thorough in my initial examination. I was given a detailed plan of action to address my issues. Today my appointment with Dr. Odland was excellent. He has the most gentle touch by the way. A must in a Dentist in my opinion. Aaron a future dentist helped make me comfortable and he assisted Dr. Odland perfectly while keeping me comfortable throughout the process. My overall experience has been wonderful. I highly recommend this experienced group of professionals. They've got a lifelong client with me.read more
MS Cacklebottom
MS Cacklebottom
Lacey does an amazing job- highly recommend her for hygiene needs. Also- Dr. Jay is hands down the best dentist I’ve ever seen. These folks deal with your anxiety in a positive way, are supportive and helpful — and you leave there feeling better and definitely being a little more proud of your smile!read more
Nick Ryan
Nick Ryan
I always have THE best experiences at Plaza Dental. The entire staff is amazing and friendly. Especially Susie and Noel who are simply THE best! I highly recommend for regular dental visits and I was highly impressed with my Invisalign treatment. I actually look forward to going to the dentist now! Love it!read more
Jamie Petersen
Jamie Petersen
I recently had cosmetic surgery. Dr. Dietrich and her assistant Joel were so professional and did excellent work. I am beyond pleased with my new smile!
LR Meyer
LR Meyer
To the whole plaza dental family you guys are the best I strongly recommend you guys to every one🙂🙂🙂 really kind nice people and do the best job EVER!!! Doctor JAY JENSEN you rock and congratulations on your move,also to all the staff you ladies made me feel very comfortable thank you thank you god bless.Doctor Jay Jensen keep doing your thing🙂 and the ladies up front you guys double rock🙂🙂 thanks for opening the door for me Lol, Alvin Thanks Plaza!!!!read more
Alvin Lee
Alvin Lee
This place is amazing. I feel the most comfortable and at ease here over any dental office I've ever been to and I've been around the block. Lacey is best although one time she wore white after labor day, but I won't fault her for that.
David Prins
David Prins
My dental hygienist, Sara, is the kindest person to work with. She is honest with her overview and analysis. She is friendly and happy to talk to you. I’ve never had a bad experience at Plaza and would recommend anyone come in for a consult or to be a new client with the dental practice. Thank you Sara for all that you do!read more
Kevin Black
Kevin Black
I would recommend to anyone! Great and friendly staff.Really put me at ease.Kept me well informed during my visit as to what procedure was being done.Great experience overall.
Dave Gates
Dave Gates
Professional, really caring team!! It’s awesome to be able to receive such expert care and most procedures can be taken care of in one place. Highly recommend this great place!!!! So kind and helpful.
Amy Gionis
Amy Gionis
They are the best! I do not like going to the dentist. I think most people don't. My dental hygienists, Sara, is amazing! She very quick but very thorough. My teeth look great when I leave and I am in and out quickly, which I appreciate. The dentist are all wonderful and I trust them. They also have wonderful whitening options. Been going for several years now and I'm never disappointed.read more
Katie Petersen
Katie Petersen
I highly recommend! They have the friendliest staff and are so professional and seem very knowledgeable! I had the boost whitening done and loved the results.
Taylor Brummer
Taylor Brummer
Dr. Odland is the best dentist I've ever had! He was so comfortable and personable. He transformed my smile in just 30 minutes and I've never felt more confident. Thank you!!
Alexa Wolfe
Alexa Wolfe
The Staff and Doctors are friendly, courteous, and professional. I no longer have "Dentist" phobia. Early morning appointments are greatly appreciated.
Donald Ryan
Donald Ryan
They were great! I loved how the dentist came and discussed my options at length with me. Shared the truth about some of the challenges I would face with each option! It was the best dental office experience I have ever had!
Tom Byber
Tom Byber
This office was so beautiful and clean. The staff was friendly and warm. I never felt rushed and all my needs were addressed. The dentist had great bedside manner and was very informative. I would highly recommend!
Austin Fawler
Austin Fawler
I had to get fillings for the first time and I was nervous wreck. Noelle and Jennifer were talking the whole time about their lives and they kept me calm. Noelle's playlist was great and they were both professional! They made sure I was doing alright and not feeling anything every couple minutes or if I was wincing. They would stop immediately and asked if I needed a break.read more
Nicole Jackson
Nicole Jackson
My experience at Ideal was awesome! The dental assistant Kevyon is always friendly and does a good job at calming me with great attitude and energy before my work is done. The dentist was very experienced and did each procedure without causing me any pain. Brooke Shields was very knowledgeable and answered all of my questions and concerns. Thank you all for another great visit.read more
John Farny
John Farny
My daughter has had a number of bad dental experiences and has become a challenging/anxious patient. She’s now had her first cleaning and a filling, all within a week. The staff was able to help her manage her anxiety and made it a great experience for both of us - something I didn’t think was possible.read more
Mikki Neff
Mikki Neff
Susan was absolutely phenomenal! I have a huge fear of anything doctor or dentist related and she made the trip so great! She explained as she went, she took the time to listen to me and she gave me great information to everything I asked. She was very thorough and knowledgeable. She was efficient, but I did not feel rushed at all. The entire office was very nice and friendly and so welcoming. And the extra things they offer to make sure you're comfortable (warm neck towel, paraffin wax hand dip, extra water, etc) made it the most relaxing trip to the dentist I've ever experienced. 100% recommending to everyone I know and will never go anywhere else! Thank you Susan and the entire office staff! I actually look forward to my next appointment!read more
Kathrina Petersen
Kathrina Petersen
Plaza Dental Group
Plaza Dental Group. 1089 Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 100, West Des Moines, IA 50266

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Although we accept all major dental insurance plans, we currently do not accept any new Delta Wellness, Medicaid, or any other state-funded insurance.