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Meeting the Dental Needs of DC’s Growing Aging Population

Posted on: September 9th, 2022 by The DC Dentist No Comments

The number of people aged over 65 in DC has grown by almost 27% from 2010 to 2019, making it by far the fastest growing age group in the city.

As a dental office in DC, this information is extremely important for Dental Town DC since people’s dental needs change as they get older. Here are some dental challenges that older adults face:

  • Aging teeth and tooth loss – as people get older they are more likely to lose teeth. In fact, a study found that 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 75 are missing all of their teeth. This isn’t because older adults are more likely to pick up hockey as a hobby, but rather as a result of the natural process of aging. You only get one set of adult teeth, so any damage that happens to them accumulates over a lifetime. This wear and tear on the outer surface of the teeth can leave them vulnerable to decay, infection, and loss. Luckily procedures to replace teeth, such as dental implants, are much more accessible than they were even 20 years ago. The ubiquity of dental implant treatments are now leading to the first generation of older adults that have fixed dental prostheses in their mouths in large numbers.
  • Gum inflammation – In addition to tooth loss, seniors have to contend with higher rates of gum disease and gingivitis. One study found that 68% of people over 65 had some sort of gum disease. This contributes to the loosening and loss of teeth, but is also dental concern in its own right, requiring special cleanings, which are referred to as periodontal maintenance.
  • Oral cancer and recovery – Cancer and the resulting treatment can cause all sorts of side effects that impact oral health, but oral cancer can cause even more damage due to its location. Over 45% of new oral cancer diagnoses happen in people aged 65 or higher. When these dental patients recover from the cancer, they still have a long road of recovery in terms of oral health.

Seeing the prevalence of these dental issues in its older patients, Dental Town DC has recognized the necessity of partnering with a periodontist, a specialist in the health of the gums and jaw bone. Having a periodontist in the office has enabled Dental Town DC to offer dental implants, periodontics, and other specialized dental services that older adults need.

If age is starting to take its toll on your oral health or if you want to preemptively address any dental issues that may come up in the future, don’t hesitate to schedule a dental consultation with one of our dentists to make sure you’re on the right track.

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