5 Reasons Why Senior Dental Care is Crucial
Dental care is essential at any age, but it’s particularly crucial for older adults. Senior dental care is essential since oral health affects your overall well-being and quality of life. Healthy teeth help older adults eat better and enjoy food. In addition, it makes it easier to enjoy the company of family and friends or socialize with strangers. Therefore, it’s essential to look out for the health of your senior loved one’s teeth and gums. Here are a few reasons why senior dental care is crucial.
1. Root decay
Root decay is very common in older adults, and it’s typically caused by exposure to acids from food. As tooth roots become exposed to these acids, gum tissue retracts from the tooth, making them susceptible to decay since the root doesn’t have enough enamel protection. This can lead to pain or infections, so getting it taken care of is crucial.
The best way to prevent root decay is through healthy habits such as brushing and flossing daily, eating a diet rich in healthy nutrients, and quitting smoking and tobacco use. A mobile dentist for seniors can also help prevent root decay.
2. Gum disease
Gum disease is a common problem for older adults and is often caused by plaque, food left in teeth, poor diets, ill-fitting bridges, and dentures. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two in three (68%) of older adults aged 65 years or older have gum disease. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize they have gum disease since it doesn’t cause any symptoms until the condition becomes severe. Gum disease can trigger tooth loss and can be very serious for overall health. Senior dental care and routine exams can help prevent this dental problem.
3. Heart disease
Increasing evidence shows a close connection between gum disease and heart disease. Bacteria present in gum disease can travel through the body, instigating inflammation in the heart’s vessels and infection in heart valves. Gum disease can also escalate your risk of a stroke and possibly worsen certain heart conditions. Taking good care of your dental health can go a long way in fighting against stroke, heartache, and other related heart conditions.
Seniors with poor dental hygiene are at higher risk of aspiration pneumonia. As dental health declines, it increases bacteria load in the oral cavity and causes the deposit of germ-laden oropharyngeal substances into the lungs. This further increases the risk of bacterial pneumonia. Maintaining proper dental hygiene in older adults who can’t care for themselves may help reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia.
5. Tooth loss
Tooth loss is very common in older adults. In fact, nearly one in five seniors aged 65 or more have lost all of their teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While there are solutions to this dental issue, including dentures, tooth loss is a serious concern as it can make it harder to chew various foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Consequently, some seniors struggle with nutrition and may experience unintentional weight loss.
Senior dental care is crucial for numerous reasons. If you are a senior, ensure you visit a dentist regularly and care for your gums and teeth. Doing this can help you stay healthy and avoid these expensive dental problems.