Why Is Good Oral Health Important for Aging Adults?

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Good oral hygiene is important for all seniors because many factors that come into play as people age can make them more susceptible to dental problems. It’s essential that older adults continue to schedule regular dental checkups to catch oral health issues as they arise. If your aging loved one is unable to drive or doesn’t have access to public transportation, make sure he or she is provided with the assistance needed to attend regular dental checkups, whether you drive your parent yourself or hire a caregiver to provide reliable transportation. Dentists will be able to identify oral care issues early, which can include the following.

Dry Mouth

Many medications older people take cause them to have dry mouth, which can contribute to the development of cavities and gum disease. Decreased saliva can also be caused by cancer treatments.

A professional caregiver can be a great asset for seniors who need help with everyday tasks such as brushing and flossing their teeth. Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of in-home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Dentures

Seniors who wear dentures may not see the need to visit a dentist because most or all of their teeth are gone. However, this is far from the truth. Older adults who wear false teeth need regular checkups because problems can occur, such as:

  • Calluses from ill-fitting devices that rub
  • Infections caused by sores
  • Natural bone atrophy that leads to poorly fitting trays
  • Pain that can lead to poor nutrition

Pneumonia

A recent study showed seniors who didn’t practice good oral hygiene were more susceptible to contracting pneumonia, an illness that can wreak havoc on the weakened immune system of an aging adult. Uncontrolled bacteria in the mouth can cause older adults to inhale pathogens into the lungs that cause pneumonia and other infections.

If your loved one is diagnosed with pneumonia or any other serious condition, compassionate help is available. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional home care. Potomac seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of the gums that’s the number one cause of tooth loss in seniors. If caught early enough, gum disease can be halted and the teeth can be saved. Gingivitis is gum disease in its earliest stages, and it can be reversed with meticulous oral hygiene and professional treatment. The symptoms include:

  • Red gums
  • Bleeding during brushing
  • Swollen gum tissue

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elderly home care. Potomac, MD, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Call us at (301) 363-2580 to learn about our comprehensive in-home care plans.

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