As you age, it is common for us to take care of our physical and emotional wellbeing. However, it is often that our oral health is overlooked. Having good oral health is just as important as having good physical or emotional health. Here is the importance of oral health as you grow older!
Plaque, which is created by bacteria, damages the enamel of the teeth and creates cavities. Dry mouth is one of the many reasons why our elderly loved ones are more likely to get cavities. Saliva protects teeth and decreases bacteria, but dry mouth can be a side effect of some medications that are often used by our elderly loved ones, such as antidepressants, high blood pressure, or asthma medications.
Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that two out of every three aging adults aged 65 and up have gum disease. Serious gum disease or periodontitis can cause bleeding gums, soreness, tooth loss, and chewing issues. Many people are oblivious that they have gum disease as symptoms do not show until the condition has increased. Gum disease can be avoided with good geriatric dental care and regular dental checkups.
Tooth loss is very prevalent among aging adults. According to the CDC, one in every five people aged 65 and up has lost all their teeth. Tooth loss can have a negative impact on nutrition as elderly loved ones without teeth may be unable to eat or enjoy fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Dental issues, such as gum disease or inflammation, are more likely to occur in people who have poor blood sugar control. This is because too much sugar in the saliva promotes the growth of germs in the mouth. Gum disease appears to have an impact on blood sugar regulation in diabetic individuals.
Oral cancer is more common in aging adults. Those who smoke pipes, cigars, or cigarettes as well as chew tobacco are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Regular dental visits can aid in the early detection of these issues.
How to Improve Dental Care
The first step is to always ensure that you brush your teeth twice each day. It is recommended that you use a soft, electric toothbrush to make brushing your teeth easier. Flossing is also another way to improve your dental hygiene as it prevents gum disease and plaque. Scheduling regular dentist appointments can also help you to keep your teeth healthy. It is recommended to visit the dentist at least once a year for a check-up or cleaning.
Stay Healthy at Discovery Village At The West End
If you need extra assistance with brushing, grooming, or dressing, consider moving into our assisted living community! Here, we offer resort-style amenities where you can enjoy an enriching and healthy life while getting the help you need. With our exclusive senior living programs, you can expect to feel energized and active through our various fitness programs and healthy gourmet meals. To learn more, contact us today!