The Importance of Dental Care for Seniors in Assisted Living
As people get older, it’s not uncommon for certain aspects of daily life to fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, proper dental care is one of the major elements of personal hygiene and health that is sometimes avoided or ignored by many older adults. Dental health is ultimately linked to whole-body wellness.
Even simple dental issues, such as dry mouth and gum disease, can directly impact the health of the rest of the body and need to be taken seriously. Ultimately, it’s just as important for older adults to care for their teeth and gums as it is their digestive and heart health. The best way to check your dental health is to book an appointment with a professional dentist, you can book a consultation at ALERIS SALEM DENTAL CENTER in Salem, MA area.
There’re are some reasons dental care is so important for older adults:
Heart disease. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the presence of gum disease can increase your likelihood of a heart attack, stroke and other heart conditions. This means that maintaining proper oral hygiene and care is vital to preventing these conditions.
Pneumonia. Poor oral health has been linked to pneumonia in older adults. By breathing in bacterial droplets from the mouth to the lungs, seniors’re more susceptible to the condition.
Diabetes. Severe gum disease, also called periodontitis, hinders the body’s ability to use insulin. High blood sugar, which’s an effect of diabetes, can lead to gum infection.
Root Decay. Caused by tooth root exposure to acids from food, root decay is very common in the elderly. As the tooth roots become exposed as gum tissue recedes from the tooth, the root doesn’t have enamel protection and makes them prone to decay.
Uneven Jawbone. When teeth are lost and not replaced with false teeth, the rest of the teeth have a tendency to drift and shift into open spaces creating an uneven jawbone, which in turn can create appearance and bite issues.
We all know brushing twice a day and flossing every couple days is important for oral health. Here are some useful tips from the American Dental Association:
Clean between your teeth once a day with floss or another inter-dental cleaner
Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day
If you wear full or partial dentures, remember to clean them on a daily basis
Take your dentures out of your mouth for at least four hours every day, and know that it’s best to remove them at night
Visit the professional dentist on a regular schedule for a complete dental check-up, cleaning and oral exams