Dental Tips from our Office

Posts for tag: Dentures

Oral Health Information and Tips for Older Adults

Effects of aging and medications. Ways to prevent and treat common issues.

It may come as a surprise to you that in contrast to losing your hair, losing your teeth is not a part of growing older. However, getting older does put us at a disproportionate risk for oral health problems which frequently results in tooth loss. As an older patient, oral health risks increase because of a few common reasons. Continue reading below where we address these issues and how to deal with them…

  1. After retiring, you may be at a loss of insurance coverage for dental procedures…

The kind of routine dental care that seniors need most—checkups, cleanings and fillings—is not covered by Medicare and out-of-pocket dental expenses are costly. It is important to maintain a consistent oral hygiene regimen in order to minimize the chance that major dental work needs to be done. 6-month cleanings and taking x-rays at your dental appointments are very important in protecting both your health, and your wallet. These procedures are much less costly than major dental work and help prevent the big issues from arising. By taking the necessary steps needed to prevent major issues, your mouth, and your wallet will be immensely grateful. The good news is that we have insurance coordinators that can assist you in maximizing any dental benefits you may have. We also offer a senior discount for many of these preventative services.

  1. Dry mouth….

Dr. Joe and Dr. Ted may refer to this as “xerostomia”. Dry mouth may be a natural result of aging, but it is also a common side effect of more than 400 medications. On the surface, dry mouth may not seem like such a big deal, but in reality it has detrimental effects on your teeth. The reason for this is that saliva plays a very important role in protecting teeth from decay. Saliva has a plethora of important antimicrobial components which help protect teeth and gums from infection. When there is a lack of saliva, teeth are more prone to infection causing bacteria. A good way to combat dry mouth and the tooth decay that comes with it is to use XyliMelts or another type of lozenge specifically designed for dry mouth. It is also advisable to drink lots of water and to brush after every meal, not just in the mornings and nights. If you find that you are prescribed medication that causes dry mouth, you can always ask Dr. Joe or Dr. Ted to provide suggestions for alternative medications which do not have the dry mouth side effect.

  1. Arthritis makes brushing and flossing difficult…

More often than not, technology is a wonderful thing. If traditional brushing and flossing are extremely difficult for you, the electric toothbrush is a great alternative. It is proven that some electric toothbrushes such as Sonicare and Oral-B do an even better job at removing plaque than traditional toothbrushes. If traditional flossing is a problem as well, a bag of floss picks can be purchased inexpensively at most pharmacies or supermarkets. A more effective, but also more expensive option is to buy a “water pick” which enables you to floss using water pressure.

  1. Periodontal Disease

One of the most common dental issues persistent in older patients is periodontal disease. If you find that you are diagnosed with severe gingivitis or periodontal disease it is extra important to brush and floss every day. Brushing and flossing is more effective when done with an electric toothbrush and a “water pick”. Dr. Joe and Dr. Ted can also prescribe special toothpastes or gels that help combat dental disease, as well as a daily treatment of high-fluoride anti-bacterial rinse.

  1. Missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures make it difficult to eat…

Your mouth is continuously changing over time, especially if you have missing teeth. As your mouth changes, your denture may not fit snugly, making it difficult to eat foods that are very important to your diet. Difficulty eating means you will likely eat less and also consume more foods that are highly processed, easier to chew, less nutritional, and worse for your overall health. If you find that problems with your teeth or denture are causing you to eat less, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with us to have your denture readjusted. The dentist can also place a softer material on the gum side of the denture so they are more comfortable. If traditional dentures are not working out, ask Dr. Joe or Dr. Ted about implant supported dentures. Implants attach to the jaw bone, and a special denture snaps onto the implants. These implant-supported dentures fit more snugly, and they look and feel like real teeth!

The staff at Gargano Family Dentistry are always happy to answer questions about your oral health. Give our office a call at 203-239-2356 or visit our website:

By Gargano Family Dentistry
December 24, 2018
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Dentures  

Mouth DenturesHow dentures from your dentists in North Haven, CT, can give you back your smile

If you are missing teeth, you are probably having trouble chewing your food. You may have stopped smiling because of lost teeth. A denture can give you back your smile and your ability to enjoy the foods you love. Did you know there is more than one type of denture? It’s true, and Drs. Joseph and Theodore Gargano at Gargano Family Dentistry in North Haven, CT, can help you discover which denture is right for you.

It’s important to have a denture that fits well and is comfortable. You also want a denture that looks natural, so you are confident when you wear it. Today’s dentures are made to fit well, out of materials that closely resemble your natural teeth and gums. Your dentists at Gargano Family Dentistry can help you decide on which denture would be best for you. Consider:

  • An immediate denture, which is placed immediately after your teeth are removed; immediate dentures have the advantage of you receiving a beautiful, functioning smile as soon as possible. A more permanent, conventional denture is made after your tissue has healed completely.
  • A conventional denture, which is placed after your tissue has healed completely, usually around 6 to 8 weeks; this is a great choice for people who only want to get used to wearing one denture.
  • An overdenture, which is made to fit over dental implants or existing tooth roots; an overdenture provides strong support, enhanced stability, and helps to maintain the bone in your jaw.

If you only want to replace a few teeth and not an entire arch, a partial denture is the right choice for you. Consider:

  • A transitional partial denture, which provides temporary tooth replacement if you are waiting to have dental implants; these partials are a relatively inexpensive solution to tooth replacement while your tissue heals.
  • A conventional partial denture, which is a sturdy, durable option if you are not planning on having dental implants later on; these partials are delivered after your tissue has healed completely.

Choosing the right denture is a decision you shouldn’t make alone. Fortunately, the experts are just a phone call away. To find out more about denture options, call Drs. Joseph and Theodore Gargano at Gargano Family Dentistry in North Haven, CT, today!

By Gargano Family Dentistry
September 11, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dentures   Missing Teeth  

Dentures can restore your smile by replacing several missing teeth. Dentures can replace an entire row of missing teeth or only some teeth along an arch when there are still natural teeth remaining. Several different types of dentures are available. A dentist can recommend the Couple With Denturesright type of denture for you. At Gargano Family Dentistry, Dr. Joseph Gargano and Dr. Theodore Gargano are your North Haven, CT dentists for dentures.

What are the Benefits of Dentures?

Dentures provide multiple benefits. They fill in the gaps where teeth are missing and restore your smile. They can also restore the natural contours of your face by providing support for drooping or sagging facial muscles. Dentures can improve speech by correcting tongue placement when speaking, which can be altered when several gaps exist from missing teeth.

What is the Difference Between Partial and Full Dentures?

There are two main types of dentures — partial and full. Full dentures are also called complete dentures and replace a full arch of missing teeth. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth still remain. Your North Haven dentist can recommend the right type of dentures for you.

Are There Different Types of Partial Dentures?

Two types of partial dentures are transitional and removable. Transitional dentures are only worn temporarily while waiting for the gums to heal following tooth extraction with the goal of placing dental implants at a later date. Partial dentures that are removable are meant to be worn more long-term.

Are There Different Types of Full Dentures?

Two types of full dentures are conventional and immediate. Conventional dentures are custom made for each individual patient and are worn long-term. Immediate dentures are worn temporarily before a patient is fitted for custom conventional dentures. Immediate dentures are worn following the extraction of any remaining natural teeth to give the gums time to heal before creating custom conventional dentures.

What is an Implant-Supported Overdenture?

Implant-supported overdentures are another denture option that is beneficial when there are no teeth left in the jaw bone to adequately support a denture. Implant-supported overdentures are held firmly in place by dental implants so there is no need to use dental adhesives, as is the case with other types of dentures.

There are different types of dentures available for giving you a complete smile. To learn more about how dentures can restore your smile, schedule an appointment with Dr. Joseph or Theodore Gargano, your North Haven, CT dentists, by calling Gargano Family Dentistry at (203) 239-2356 for the Elm Street location or at (203) 239-3985 for the St. John Street location.