John W. Bristow D.D.S

Changing the world, one smile at a time…
(707) 642-3319

SENIOR DENTAL CARE

The aging process often creates subtle or dramatic changes in the condition of teeth, mouth and gums, including:

Keeping teeth clean and white:

The formation of plaque, a colorless layer of bacteria that builds up on teeth, accelerates as we grow older. In addition, older fillings may weaken and crack, allowing plaque to accumulate around the edges of fillings, making it harder to keep them clean and leading to increased decay. Also, teeth may darken in color due to changes that normally occur with
aging.

What our office can do:

Regular preventive visits to our office will help you keep your teeth clean and keep your fillings in good repair. Additionally, if you have healthy tooth structure, your CDA dentist may suggest bleaching as a method for restoring a whiter, more youthful appearance to your teeth.

Gum disease:

Bacteria found in plaque create toxins which irritate and inflame the gums and cause gum tissue to separate from teeth, creating pockets. Left untreated, gum disease may damage the bone that holds your teeth in place, resulting in unnecessary tooth loss. Poorly fitted dentures, poor oral hygiene, illnesses and some medications may increase the severity of gum disease, and create chewing problems and pain.

As you age:

Gums may begin to recede from teeth. This process exposes tooth roots to plaque, making them more sensitive to temperature and more vulnerable to decay.

What our office can do:

With regular cleanings and exams, can assist you with preventive care that will help decrease the occurrence and severity of gum disease and recession, as well as provide
treatment for root sensitivity and restore decayed root surfaces.

Dry Mouth:

Dry mouth is caused by reduced saliva flow and may lead to tooth decay. Reduced saliva flow may result from a medical disorder or from a side effect of medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, heart medications or diuretics. The reduced flow affects teeth because saliva acts as a cleaning agent in the mouth to wash away and buffer acids produced by plaque. Saliva also contains minerals that continually bathe tooth surfaces and help keep them strong. When saliva flow is inadequate, teeth decay more
easily.

What our office can do:

We will help determine if “dry mouth” is affecting your oral health and can recommend the use of products and preventive protocols to counteract the effects of dry mouth.
Routine care:

The best way to avoid problems is through regular dental exams, so we can detect changes in the condition of gums and teeth early. Early treatment of gum disease and cavities reduces the need – and the cost – for more extensive treatment that may be required if problems of the mouth, gums and teeth go untreated. Additionally, home care is essential in maintaining your dental health. However, even the best home care does not fully prevent the formation of tartar (hardened plaque) on your teeth. Regular dental visits are needed to keep teeth clean and optimize dental health.

By filling in gaps from lost teeth or by replacing diseased teeth, our office can help you maintain good chewing surfaces and bite alignments, so that you can chew with
ease, eat in comfort, and smile with assurance. During routine exams, our office often discover diseases that require medical attention. Dr. Bristow often can spot early signs of diabetes, oral cancer or adverse drug reactions during a regular dental exam. It is important to note that your medical condition may have an impact on how your we deliver dental care. Dental patients with heart conditions or high blood pressure may require pre-medication, or a change in their regular medication, before undergoing certain dental procedures. These conditions should be discussed with your us during your regular check-ups.

Question. Is good dental health worth the expense?

Answer. Yes. Recognize that there are costs involved in choosing not to take care of your teeth, mouth and gums. These can include discomfort or pain, limitations on foods that can be eaten resulting in the lowering of nutritional quality, and self-conscious smiling. Additionally, oral health is widely recognized as an important part of general health. Gum disease has been linked to a number of other health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. A decision to maintain your oral health is also a decision to support your general health.
The good news is with our help, a treatment plan can be designed to help you achieve a quality lifestyle at a reasonable cost. Your regular visits to our office are the building
blocks of good oral and general health.