Looking after a senior loved one’s overall health doesn’t just include keeping an eye on their nutritional consumption and physical abilities. It also includes caring for their teeth and gums. As we get older there are some things that we tend to neglect. Dental care in California seems to be one of the personal hygiene routines that can be forgotten.
Because dental health is connected to the health of your entire body, it’s important that seniors have someone to encourage them to keep their oral health a priority.
Why Senior Dental Care in California Is So Important
Senior dental issues – from simple dry mouth to more serious periodontal disease – are quite common. And these issues need to be taken seriously.
Following are nine reasons why senior dental care in California is so important.
Heart Disease: Sustaining good oral hygiene can be a powerful weapon against strokes, heart attacks, and other heart disease issues. In fact, people who suffer from periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease or coronary artery disease.
Pneumonia: Seniors are more susceptible to this condition, and proper oral hygiene is an effective way to combat this bacteria. Proper dental care in California is especially important in caregiving situations, where residents rely on staff and caregivers to care for their teeth.
Diabetes: Severe gum disease hampers the body’s ability to use insulin. Elevated blood sugar, which is a direct effect of diabetes, can cause gum infection. Proper oral care, together with regular dental checkups, can help prevent this condition.
Darkened Teeth: As we age, the dentin changes because of the foods and beverages we consume. Staining – along with a weakening of the outer enamel layer – can result in darkened teeth.
Gum Disease: Gum disease can prompt tooth loss and be very serious for overall health as it has been associated with many problems in the body.
Parched Mouth: The purpose of saliva is to keep the mouth wet, which defends teeth from decay and infection by controlling viruses, fungi, and bacteria in the mouth. Because of this, having a dry mouth can pose a problem.
Root Decay: As the tooth roots become exposed when the gum tissue recedes from the tooth, the root doesn’t have enamel to protect it, thereby making them prone to decay.
How Age Can Affect Dental Care
Some particular medical conditions, such as arthritis in the fingers and hands, can make brushing or flossing difficult – or even impossible – to perform. Certain drugs can also have an effect on oral health.
How to Improve Senior Dental Care in California
We’re aware that brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is important for oral health; however, there’s more to maintaining dental care. Here are some expert tips from the American Dental Association that are good guidelines to follow.
• Brush twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride.
• Brush teeth with an electric toothbrush.
• Floss teeth once a day.
• Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash one or two times a day.
• Clean dentures on a daily basis.
• Remove dentures for at least four hours every day, preferably at night.
• Drink tap water to prevent tooth decay.
• Stop smoking, as it increases issues with tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease.
• Stick to a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes high-fiber foods and dairy.
The final – and probably the most important recommendation – is to visit the dentist regularly for a complete dental check-up, oral exams, and cleaning. Whether you’re a senior or not, dental care in California is of the utmost importance. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your next checkup.