Don’t Just Talk About It: Dental Care For Seniors
Oral health is linked our overall health so taking proper care of our teeth is more important than we may think!
There are a whole bunch of varying individual factors that come into play when it comes to seniors’ oral and dental health, the state of which depend largely on personal circumstances and histories. In addition to the general wear and tear that takes place over passing years, there might also be genetic or developed predispositions to oral and dental health problems, side-effects from medications that impact oral and dental health, and other similar factors that become relevant to seniors’ oral and dental health.
It is also worth remembering that seemingly unrelated changes that are connected to seniors mental and physical health can also come to create problems that alter their ability to perform appropriate practices of oral and dental care.
Seniors who have arthritis, or other medical issues might find it more difficult to brush, floss, and care for their teeth while challenges associated with cognitive function can also create problems.
Seniors in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge should visit their dentists on a routine basis to check for and properly address concerns related to dental health
Concerns with Oral and Dental Health
- Root Decay: As gum tissue recedes and the roots of teeth become exposed, the lack of protection from enamel makes these roots vulnerable to decay from exposure to acidic foods.
- Denture-Induced Stomatitis: Ill-fitting dentures, poor dental hygiene, and accumulation of the Candida albicans fungus can create inflammation of the tissues that lie beneath dentures.
- Jaw Problems: Teeth can tend to move around within the mouth to compensate for spaces or missing teeth, and these shifts can make the jawbone less even, and can contribute to discomfort and difficulty biting or chewing.
- Dry Mouth: Often a side-effect of medications or other treatments, reduction in the amount of saliva, which usually controls the presence of bacteria and viruses, leaves teeth more vulnerable to decay.
- Gum Disease: Gum disease can be caused by a whole bunch of different contributors, from buildup of plaque, tobacco use, poor diet, ill-fitting dentures, or other pervasive health problems. Gum disease can result in the loss of teeth, great discomfort, and other problems.
- Pneumonia: Breathing bacteria from the mouth into the lungs can lead to pneumonia, but seniors have the opportunity to reduce these chances by ensuring they keep good oral and dental hygiene to reduce the amount of bacteria living in their mouths.
- Diabetes: The high blood sugar that comes along with diabetes can result in gum infections, while severe cases of gum disease can also inhibit the body’s ability to make proper use of insulin.
- Heart Disease: A connection has been discovered between gum disease and heart disease, which indicates that maintaining good oral and dental health can help prevent heart problems such as heart attacks or strokes.
Seniors and their caregivers have the power to carry out practices and behaviours that can help maintain better oral and dental health:
- Clean Dentures Daily
- Use Fluoridated Toothpaste
- Brush Twice a Day
- Visit the Dentist Regularly
- Use Mouthwash Once a Day
- Stop Smoking
- Monitor/Limit Sugary or Acidic Foods
- Floss Once a Day
It is important that seniors and their caregivers ensure that oral health remains a priority in personal care routines so that they can keep up a healthy level of care that can help to support overall health and wellbeing.
Retire-At-Home Services Waterloo Region
With over 20 years experience, Retire-At-Home is a perfect example of an established home care agency that specializes in providing nurse case managed home care services for seniors in Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge.
The services offered at Retire-At-Home are ideal for those requiring extra TLC after a sugery, companion care in a retirement home or supplementing care in long term care due to the personalized care meeting the needs of each unique client.
Not in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge area? Contact us HERE and we can help you get in touch with a professional in your area!