The older we get, the more our dental issues can affect our overall health and well-being. It is essential for seniors to be aware of the many problems poor dental hygiene may cause and the things that can have major ramifications on oral health. Ensuring that we retain good oral health including with teeth, gums and the mouth, it is possible to live a much healthier and happier life as we age.
Did you know that regular check-ups are not only beneficial to our teeth, but they can also assist with ensuring our overall health and well-being for years to come? Many people do not realize that oral health is essential and is one of the most important things you can do for your body as a whole.
Good oral hygiene is paramount to overall good health and having to use medications or having chronic illnesses can impact oral health by causing it to worsen over time. Often, it is difficult to get seniors to go in for dental check-ups and other oral care because of transportation issues as well as impaired cognitive skills and other issues that can affect going in for treatment. Here are a few quick things to consider about oral health in seniors that may shine a little light onto the overall issue of dental care:
- 1/5 of all people over the age of 75 have not been to a dentist in more than five years.
- Each year, nearly 1 million visits accrue at hospital emergency rooms for dental problems that could have been prevented through regular check-ups and minor care.
- Around 75 percent of people over the age of 60 have only a few of their natural teeth or no teeth at all due to various preventable dental issues.
- It is estimated that close to 25 percent or more of people between the ages of 65 and 75 have severe gum disease which could have been treated if dental care were available or accessible.
Many seniors are embarrassed to go to a dentist because they have neglected to get care for their teeth. This is a terrible mistake as regular dental care can prevent infections caused by tooth decay and gum disease and it can help to regain or maintain dignity. Bacteria found in gum disease has been linked directly to aneurisms, coronary heart disease and a variety of other health issues.
Having a good dental insurance policy as well as reliable transportation and assistance from a caregiver if needed are all good steps towards correcting poor dental hygiene and maintaining good overall oral health. Whether you have perfect oral health or you have a few problems that may need correction, making sure you go for regular check-ups and taking other preventative steps will go a long way to not only living a more productive life in your senior years, but to also feeling good about the way you look and especially, the shape your teeth are in.
To help prevent many oral health and dental problems, you can try some of the following tips to help maintain oral health for years to come:
- Limit sugary snacks and drinks and try to eat a healthy diet.
- Brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss at least once daily.
- Do not use tobacco products.
- Check for sores, bumps or spots in your mouth.
- Go to regular dental check-ups every six months.
If you are not able to schedule a dental check-up every six months, going at least once per year is also beneficial and can help cut down on cavities and other dental or oral problems. As a senior, making sure that your teeth and mouth are taken care of can be a great way to really enjoy your senior years with great smiles and better health all around.
Author Bio: Jason Mueller is a writer who is currently working with his company Taylor Benefits Insurance. In his leisure hours, he enjoys good times at the beach or adventures in the mountains.