April 05, 2021
Aging takes a toll on our teeth, and that is why dental problems increase with age. Dental problems can be very painful and extremely annoying. Seniors are more prone to tooth decay, gum diseases, receding gums, and dry mouth, which results in sugars and acids buildup on teeth. The golden years should be well spent; however, toothaches and gum problems certainly won't allow seniors to enjoy this phase of their lives. Read on to learn more about why it is important for seniors to maintain proper dental care.
Stronger Immune System
As we age, our immune system gets weaker, and that is why seniors are more susceptible to contagious illnesses and viruses. Poor oral hygiene can also weaken the immune system, so being old with poor oral hygiene can cause a serious decline in the immune system. Believe it or not, poor oral hygiene increases the risk of pneumonia. However, flossing on a daily basis will remove the harmful bacteria before the harmful particles can find their way into the seniors’ lungs.
Avoiding Heart Diseases
Studies have shown that there is a strong connection between heart and gum disease as arteries swell when there is a bacterial infection, which in turn decreases the blood flow and increases the risk of a heart attack. Therefore, maintaining good oral care and hygiene could prevent heart conditions like strokes and heart attacks. Some seniors are not in any condition to take care of themselves as they need help. Professional dentists at Aged Care Dentistry say that seniors living in nursing homes need gentle treatment. Thus, it is important for caregivers and family members to notice any signs of oral issues in seniors who are incapable of maintaining proper hygiene on their own.
Preventing Dry Mouth
Medication usually taken by most seniors can cause dry mouth as a side effect, that is why seniors tend to suffer from dry mouth. Saliva keeps teeth clean and fights fungi, bacteria, and viruses found in our mouths, thus, preventing inflammations and infections. A dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and other problems. That is why seniors should take good care of their oral hygiene by flossing and brushing their teeth regularly.
Prevent Root Decay
Aging causes the gums to recede, which results in the exposure of roots, which can be very dangerous because roots don’t have a protective layer around them, so they decay, and this can be very painful. Also, the wearing of enamel as we get older can cause root decay.
Root decay is very common in seniors; this is why taking care of our teeth as we get older is very important to prevent this painful consequence of poor oral conditions.
As we get older, our mobility and memory decline as an effect of old age. However, our health should always take priority, and oral health and hygiene are linked directly to many health conditions that seniors are prone to. Keeping a daily routine of flossing and properly brushing teeth can prevent many diseases like pneumonia, strokes, heart attacks and boost the immune system. Some seniors can’t keep up with this routine due to health conditions like dementia or other conditions that affect their mobility, so they tend to ignore or forget about their oral hygiene. This is why caregivers and family members are responsible to help seniors maintain proper dental care, which leads to a healthier physical condition.