Why is dental care and oral health so important for senior adults?

Good oral health is vital for senior adults. Poor oral health can contribute to the development and progress of a number of health problems and conditions. Dental hygiene is critical to maintaining good oral health. The most common health problems that affect senior adults and are believed to be connected with oral health.

  1. Diabetes. High levels of blood sugar due to #diabetes can cause gum infections. When the gum disease progresses into periodontitis, it interferes with the person’s ability to use insulin. older woman dental care Sm
  2. Pneumonia. Poor oral health is connected with #pneumonia because it is often caused by breathing in bacteria from your mouth into your lungs. These lung infections are more common in older adults. In some cases, difficulties in performing the tasks of dental hygiene, which is challenging for many older adults, is an important factor in developing pneumonia. This can be especially difficult for those residing in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Many of these facilities are unable to assist residents because they lack the training and the time.
  3. Heart Disease. The American Academy of Periodontology has estimated that older adults with periodontal disease are twice as likely to have coronary artery disease. The connection is primarily between gum disease and #heartdisease.
  4. Gum Disease. Allowing food and plaque to remain on your teeth causes gum disease, as does use of tobacco, poor diet, and poorly fitting dentures or bridges. #Gumdisease, in turn, contributes to anemia, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and pneumonia. It frequently causes tooth loss, as well.
  5. Root Decay. When the root of your tooth becomes exposed to acids from your food and beverages decay can occur in the root. The #root is not protected by enamel, and so is particularly vulnerable to decay. When the gums recede from the tooth root more and more of the tooth and the tooth root are exposed.
  6. Jawbone Changes. When you lose teeth and you do not replace them with a bridge or denture, the surrounding teeth often “drift” into the open spaces created when the tooth was lost. In time, your #jawbone becomes irregular or uneven. Gradually, the teeth will be visibly irregular. This will also affect your bite, and may cause jaw pain.
  7. Tooth Discoloration. Two factors contribute to tooth #discoloration as we age. First, color of the dentin (the layer of tooth just below the enamel) may change due to staining by the foods and beverages you consume. In addition, the enamel layer begins to thin, which allows the yellow of the dentin to show through the enamel. The result is that the teeth will be darkened.
  8. Stomatitis due to denture fit. This kind of# inflammation of the gums beneath your #denture is typically caused by poor dental hygiene, rubbing of an ill-fitting denture, or a buildup of Candida albicans fungus. It is painful and unpleasant.
  9. Dry Mouth. Dry mouth can affect you at any age. It is never pleasant. #Drymouth may be caused by an auto-immune disease or by medications you take at your doctor’s direction. It is more common in older adults because aging often requires more medications. Because your mouth is dry due to failure to produce saliva, you do not process food and beverage acid or remove bacteria or viruses. As a result, you are subject to tooth decay, gum disease, growth of fungi in your mouth. In some cases, it can be difficult to keep dentures in place.

These challenges typically faced by older adults can usually be managed and treated. Excellent dental hygiene and regular visits to your dentist will enable you to manage these effects.