Dental health continues to be a priority with age

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By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer

Dr. Nikhil Lavana and Dr. Archana Karkhanis-Lavana
Photo/Liz Nolan

Northborough – Dental health is just as important as staying in good physical health especially as people age.  Family Dental Group of Northboro located at 318 Main Street, Suite 180, opened in June 2019 by the husband-wife dentist team of Dr. Nikhil Lavana and Dr. Archana Karkhanis-Lavana. Although they treat patients of all ages, they want to communicate the importance of dental care for those age 50 and older.

Karkhanis-Lavana said the body experiences hormonal and physical changes as people age, and it is important for regular dental check-ups.

“Teeth are as important as any part of your body,” she said. “Good teeth is an indicator of good overall health.”

Since oral and physical health are so related, Karkhanis-Lavana makes it a priority to coordinate the care with a patient’s other health care providers when necessary.

“We have been treating this age group very strongly since the start of the practice,” she said. “We look at the patient’s overall health condition. Depending on any underlying conditions, we will connect with other health specialists.”

It is common that older people require various medications as they may face increased health issues, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stomach issues and other chronic diseases. Side effects of medications, like decreased saliva production, can impact dental health.

Tissue structures can change as hormone levels change, so a regular oral cancer check is essential.  

“As your physical body changes, there are changes happening in your mouth too,” said Karkhanis-Lavana.

The correlation between periodontal disease and cardiac disease also make it important for regular checkups in addition to brushing twice a day, flossing and using a mouth rinse. 

“Gum disease is an inflammation caused by bacteria in the mouth and that bacteria can enter the blood stream leading to the heart causing cardiac issues,” she said.

Another element to consider for some people over 75 years old is that may suffer from forgetfulness, including forgetting to brush their teeth. 

If that is the case, Karkhanis-Lavana recommends those patients be seen every three months. 

Older patients have the potential of losing a tooth. Without the proper bite, a patient might not be able to eat foods that are needed for proper nutrition.

Filling replacements, crowns and implants can all help to restore the bite.

Family Dental Group of Northborough accepts many insurances including MassHealth, Delta Dental, Blue Cross, Fallon Navicare, United Healthcare, Cigna and Guardian. It offers handicap parking and easy access to the office. There are additional offices in Paxton and Gardner.

Additional information including services and hours can be found at www.lavanafamilydental.com. Patients can expect a timely response to every call after hours and emergency calls. Appointments can be requested online or by calling 508-466-7211.