As the study of medicine advances further and further, people are living longer and healthier lives. Direct evidence of this is none other than a branch of medicine that would have been unthinkable, even 50 or 60 years ago. This branch of dentistry is gerodontics, or the study of the teeth and dental needs and diseases of old people, a subject that was simply non-existent in the past, as teeth did not survive long enough to be around in geriatric age. I would like to give an overview of some of the topics that are dealt with in gerodontics, and some of the main issues that dentists who specialize in this field have noticed.
One of the main problems encountered in old age is edentulism, which is easily cured with getting dental implants or dentures or bridges. But, although this is a permanent solution, the shape of the insides of the mouth continues to change, long after all of the teeth have departed. This may cause issues with dentures. One of the most common complaints is about the bite plate. This is a plate that goes up the palate, and with the shape of the mouth changing, the palate can start to poke things or squeeze parts of the periodontium that it did not before. Luckily, adjusting bite plates only takes a day or two, and it can easily be remedied.
The other problem that can occur is denture sores. These are hardened or cracked bits of gum that form from the occlusal forces of biting and chewing; when biting and chewing with dentures, the bite plate and the end of the dentures can rub the periodontium and can create sores and friction burns. These sores can easily become infected, and these infections can be quite serious, especially for someone in advanced years.
The solution is simple. When they feel sore, take the dentures out, and rinse the area with warm salty water. This way, the bacteria will be killed from the salt water and the area can then be left to dry out and heal a little bit The sore should go away in a few hours, but it is likely that ti will reoccur. If you are experiencing denture sores, you should go to the dentist and get the dentures you are wearing fitted to your gums.
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