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FAQ:  Senior Citizen Dentistry

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Gum Tenderness: I am a senior and have only a few teeth. My gums are almost always sore.

My dentist recommended rinsing with epsom salts for relief, this seldom works. I went to a periodontist who found nothing unusual.

I am going to have the gums cleaned next month. I want to know if there is a specific blood test that should be done to determine if there is some underlying medical condition that is causing this constant soreness. .... Visitor from NY

Sore gums can be signs for many different things. You are wise to think of other systemic medical conditions as the source of your situation.

Blood tests can vary from CBC (Complete Blood Count), Cholesterol testing, diabetes testing, Vitamin deficiencies, etc.

Sore gums can also arise from habits such as grinding (bruxing) the teeth or eating acidic types of foods. Dryness of the mouth can give rise to trauma of the oral mucosa (the skin of the mouth). There are also systemic and local diseases which may present themselves in the mouth with soreness.

If after the gums are cleaned, you are still concerned, then a trip to an oral pathologist is the next level of investigation. I would recommend a teaching hospital such as Columbia University or NYU.

Editorial Staff

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