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Geriatric Dentistry

Geriatric dentistry is the delivery of dental care to older adults involving diagnosis, prevention, management and treatment of problems associated with age related diseases.

In the elderly population poor oral health has been considered a risk factor for general health problems. Older adults are more susceptible to oral conditions or diseases due to an increase in chronic conditions and physical/mental disabilities.


  1. A dry mouth can be associated with caries, cracked lips, fissured tongue and oral mucositis. It can impact heavily on the patient’s quality of life, affecting taste, speaking, enjoyment and ingestion of food, and fitting dentures.
  2. Changes to the oral mucous membrane including the epithelium and connective tissue, result in decreased immunity against pathogens. There is a loss of elasticity and stippling, with a general thinning over time.
  3. With continued chewing, talking, and general use, the tooth eventually wears down with attrition and dental erosion most commonly seen.
  4. Age increases the risk of periodontal disease but does not cause it.
  5. Due to the aging process and certain health conditions of the geriatric population; they can be more susceptible to pathogenic anaerobic bacteria infecting the periodontium and initiating inflammation.
  6. Most of the geriatric community have moderate levels of attachment loss, with less having advanced stages of the disease.


  1. Developing a routine with oral hygiene care at the same time every day with the patients input as to when is most convenient.
  2. Undertaking oral care in a quiet distraction-free environment.
  3. Use of short, simple sentences and directions.
  4. Use of task-breakdown and one-step instructions placement of a step by step poster illustrating each step.
  5. Use of non-verbal cues eg. facial expressions, hand gestures, body language.( reassuring patient)
  6. Gentle touch to promote trust.
  7. Using reminders and prompts for oral hygiene care.

Please contact at Gums and Smiles Family Dental in Leander, Texas 78641 to our dental professionals.