Proper dental care is important for everyone, but it’s particularly significant for older adults. It’s also one of the things that can easily be pushed aside as more pressing health complaints pile up. However, there are good reasons to make good oral health a priority. Make sure your elderly loved one sees the dentist at the suggested intervals and promptly has any necessary work completed. Pay attention to your loved one’s oral hygiene habits, and if you’re in charge of brushing his or her teeth, make sure to brush thoroughly twice a day, clean dentures daily if applicable, floss teeth regularly, and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once a day. Here are a few of the top reasons seniors need to maintain good oral health.
1. Promotes Good Heart Health
There appears to be a link between gum disease and heart disease. Taking good care of the teeth reduces the chance of a heart attack or stroke, which are leading causes of death and disability in the elderly.
2. Reduces Risk Factors in Diabetics
People who have severe periodontitis have more difficulty with their body’s ability to use insulin, which is already an issue for diabetics. Also, high blood sugar can lead to gum infections.
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 West Hartford, 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.
3. Lowers the Risk of Pneumonia
In seniors, there appears to be a link between poor oral health and pneumonia. If there are infections or bacteria in the mouth, they can easily be breathed in, and the infection can travel to the lungs or throughout the body, which can be extremely dangerous for older adults.
4. Prevents Root Decay
Root decay can happen at any age, but it’s more common in seniors. The reason for its prevalence among the elderly is that gum tissue tends to recede with age, exposing the roots of teeth. Teeth roots don’t have enamel protection, which makes them more prone to decay. Root decay can lead to expensive dental work or lost teeth.
5. Prevents Gum Disease
Gum disease can have many causes. It can happen because of plaque buildup, food that remains on or between the teeth, long-term bad eating habits, tobacco use, or ill-fitting dentures. Illnesses like cancer and anemia can also lead to gum disease. Gum disease has many consequences that go far beyond the mouth, and it has been linked with several diseases and conditions.
Seniors often need help with a variety of personal hygiene tasks, including those required for good oral health. In West Hartford, homecare 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.
6. Boosts Self-Esteem
Aside from the many medical issues that poor oral health can cause, there are less dangerous but still upsetting social issues. Poor oral health frequently leads to bad breath, darkened or missing teeth, and unsightly decay. This can be embarrassing for seniors living with the issue and can cause them to not want to smile or talk closely with friends or relatives, which can increase feelings of isolation.
If your loved one needs help managing oral hygiene tasks or other activities of daily living, consider hiring a professional caregiver. The type of home care 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. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (860) 372-4500 today.