Why Is Oral Health Important for Older Adults?

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A lot of people assume tooth decay is inevitable in old age, but the reality is there’s still plenty seniors can do to take care of their teeth. Seniors who brush, floss, and visit the dentist for regular cleanings can greatly boost their oral health, which can help them avoid major health problems and retain sparkling smiles in old age. There are several important benefits seniors get when they maintain their oral health. 

Makes It Easier to Eat

Chronic malnutrition is a common problem for seniors, and oral health issues can greatly exacerbate the issue. When seniors have discomfort due to cavities or sores in the mouth, they may have difficulty getting the nutrition they need.  Tooth loss can make eating even more challenging because it becomes difficult to chew food even with the assistance of dentures. Taking preventative steps to maintain oral health can make a huge difference in a senior’s ability to get proper nutrition. 

Protects Teeth from Decay

Seniors have a higher risk of dental health problems than the rest of the population. Certain medications and dehydration can often cause seniors to have dry mouth. Without enough saliva to protect and remineralize teeth, tooth decay and gum disease can flourish. Since seniors have a higher chance of developing these problems, they need to be especially vigilant about oral hygiene.  Seniors often need help with a variety of personal hygiene tasks, including those required for good oral health. Senior home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Boosts Self-Esteem

Having oral health issues can impact a senior’s self-esteem and socialization abilities. Many seniors with cavities and tooth loss worry about smiling in front of others or find it difficult to talk to people, which can cause problems with anxiety, poor self-esteem, and isolation. Taking time to maintain oral health can be an excellent way of boosting confidence and emotional health for seniors. 

Reduces Cardiovascular Disease Risks

Did you know gum disease has been linked to several heart and circulatory system problems? When seniors don’t maintain their oral health, bacteria in the mouth can easily enter the bloodstream through the tiny capillaries located throughout gum tissue, which can then increase overall inflammation and possibly cause blood clots. Therefore, seniors who want to boost their cardiovascular health need to remember to take care of their teeth and floss regularly. Poor dental health can increase the risk of a variety of health issues in aging adults. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Irving, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Prevents Dangerous Infections

A cavity might sound fairly harmless, but any infection can be dangerous for seniors. With a weakened immune system, it’s easy for even small pockets of infection to grow out of control, which can lead to painful, inconvenient, and even potentially life-threatening abscesses and oral infections. Getting immediate treatment for minor infections is essential, and these infections can often be prevented in the first place with proper oral hygiene.  If your loved one needs help managing oral hygiene tasks or other activities of daily living, consider hiring a professional caregiver. The type of at-home care Irving, TX, seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (817) 591-1580.


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