The Importance Of Having A Dentist As A Senior

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As age begins to take hold of people, some aspects of healthcare, hygiene, and wellness become neglected. That is especially true with dental care. Many people feel that taking care of teeth and gums isn’t as important later in life. Either the action is physically challenging, or the activity is merely forgotten about when it comes time for it. Brushing two times a day and flossing with each session can be overwhelming even for the younger generation. But it’s especially important when you reach the more advanced years.

Elder dental care should be scheduled with a general dentist at least every six months. Because the population has greater difficulty managing their oral health on their own, this is particularly relevant to sustain the teeth and gums in addition to overall bodily well-being since gums affect the body’s general conditioning. A dentist can assist in caring for teeth in instances where someone is physically unable to do so or when there is a predisposition to dental problems, medications are affecting oral health, or cognitive disorders prevent them from remembering to take care of their hygiene.

Why Elder Dental Care Is So Critical

The health of teeth and gums has direct correlation to the overall health of the rest of the body making it imperative that oral health be a priority in senior care. Dental problems for seniors inclusive of dry mouth to periodontal disease need to be addressed upon diagnosis. Taking care of the mouth of an elderly patient is equally important as their heart and digestive health. Reasons that elder dental care is so crucial:

  • Studies indicate a connection with gum disease and heart disorders. Keeping the gums in a healthy condition can potentially ward off heart attacks, strokes, and other potentially dangerous types of heart disorders. Those senior patients who show signs of periodontal disease are said to be nearly double in the likelihood of coronary artery disease or for developing a heart disorder. Research shows that the presence of common issues within the mouth inclusive of gum disease or cavities were capable of predicting heart disease to the same level that cholesterol does.
  • Poor health of the teeth and gums has links with pneumonia for aged adults with bacterial drops breathed in from the mouth directly to the lungs. Good oral health boasts to combat bacteria, which is especially crucial if you reside in any type of assisted living or nursing home situation where other residents are not taking care of their teeth with staff as the sole source of care. Go to https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/aging-and-dental-health to read on the importance of oral care in the aged population.
  • Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease that hinders the ability for the body to use insulin. Having a high blood sugar, an effect of diabetes, can potentially lead to the gums becoming infected. Participating in regular check-ups and proper hygiene has the potential for prevention.
  • The bone-like tissue that lies under the tooth enamel, known as dentin, is subject to change color due to the variety of beverages and foods for which you indulge. These stains plus the outer coating becoming thin will let the yellow dentin come through, giving the appearance of dark teeth.
  • Plaque and food particles left in our teeth will lead to gum disease not to mention the use of tobacco, indulging in a poor diet, bridges that are ill-fitting or dentures, and ailments including cancer, anemia, and diabetes. Tooth loss can be a result of gum disease, which is very serious for the body’s general health as it has links to many conditions associated with the body. Click here to read about senior dental care.
  • A side effect of taking certain types of medications or from cancer treatments associated with radiation to the neck and head is dry mouth. The mouth can stay wet due to saliva that acts as a protectant to the teeth against decay. It also serves as prevention from infection through the control of bacteria, fungi, and viruses within the mouth. The lack of saliva creates significant issues for an individual suffering dry mouth.
  • Prevalent in the senior population is root decay, which is caused by roots having exposure to acids from various foods. With the tooth having exposure, the gum tissue recedes away from the tooth. There is no enamel protection, which leaves them susceptible to decay.
  • Dentures that are ill-fitting along with poor dental hygiene or a building up of certain fungi will bring on stomatitis, which is an inflammation of the tissue underneath the dentures. The condition is very uncomfortable for the patients suffering from it.

There is a multitude of things that a senior needs to perform with their at-home oral hygiene . Still, the absolute critical aspect of their overall teeth and gum health is to see a dentist regularly who can assist in keeping their mouth healthy so that the rest of their general health stays on track. The dentist will do full check-ups with each visit along with a thorough cleaning and an oral exam to ensure that your mouth is in the optimal condition. 

If you don’t have the capability of performing the appropriate maintenance daily as you should, seeing a dentist is not an option but a priority in addition to eating a diet that is well-balanced inclusive of high-fiber and dairy. Taking care of your teeth is just as important, if not more, so when you reach an advanced age as compared to those belonging to the younger generation.