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Elder Dental Care: Why It’s Important
Proper oral health care is important. From children to adults, the teeth and gums need to be cared for in the best way possible. Often times, as adults age into the senior years, dental care efforts fall to the wayside. It is important for everyone, including seniors, to have access to quality dental care. Seniors need to brush and floss regularly as well as visit the dentist for regular cleanings to ensure overall quality oral health.
Why It’s Important?
During the senior years, the aging process makes individuals more susceptible to a dry mouth as well as gum disease. On top of oral health issues, there are chronic health conditions that seniors can have that will increase the risk of oral health problems.
Most people who are 65 years of age or older will have at least one chronic health condition. There are individuals who will have more than one health condition that can affect oral health. Examples of medical conditions that the elderly can have include heart disease, cancer, arthritis, hypertension, and diabetes.
These conditions will require the need to take medication. With daily medical needs, dry mouth can occur. This leads to a higher risk of gum disease as well as cavities. Certain health conditions also can correlate with dental health issues. Patients with diabetes often will suffer from the decay of the teeth or periodontal disease.
Even healthy seniors can suffer from dental issues like cavities and gum disease. Additional issues such as the loss of dental benefits or health insurance can lead to less dental visits. When visits are skipped, the seniors are more likely to be affected by dental health problems.
The Basics of Elderly Dental Care
As you get older, dry mouth can occur along with gum recession. With both of these side effects, patients can be at risk of gum disease and cavities. There is less saliva in the mouth which affects the way bacteria is removed from the mouth.
Several steps need to be taken to maintain good overall oral health care and to save your teeth as you age. For starters, be sure to visit the dentist two times a year for checkups and cleanings. If you have dentures, bridges, implants or crowns, be sure they stay in good condition. If you have any issues, speak with the dentist to ensure treatment is provided if needed.
Just as when you were a child, good oral habits are important. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth each day, twice a day, to ensure your teeth and gums stay fresh and clean. Following good oral hygiene habits and visiting the dentist can help you hang on to your natural teeth longer and enjoy quality overall health.
Your overall health is affected by the teeth and gums so staying true to your oral health will ensure you feel good. Any medical conditions you have may increase your risk for oral health issues, so be sure to discuss this with the dentist if any concerns are present.
Winn Family Dentistry is ready to assist with all dental health care needs, including for senior patients. Schedule an appointment today to remedy any issues such as dry mouth due to aging.