How to Promote Good Dental Health in Seniors
As we age, we need to pay more attention to the health of our mouths. When considering our overall health, dental health is often overlooked, but it is just as critical. Poor oral health and hygiene can have many consequences for seniors in more areas than just their mouths.
Risks of Poor Oral Health
Gum Disease: Gum disease is caused by food particles and plaque left in the mouth. An individual’s general health can be adversely affected by poor oral hygiene, which is associated with a number of health problems. It is possible for gum disease to cause other problems when the bacteria spread throughout the body. Studies have shown that gum disease and heart disease may be linked. When bacteria enter the body through gum disease, they can infect the heart, cause heart valve damage, and lead to heart disease.
Pneumonia: Pneumonia occurs when bacteria in the mouth enter the lungs after being breathed in. Seniors often experience more severe pneumonia symptoms than younger people.
Dental Health Upkeep for Seniors
Brush with an Electric Toothbrush: Seniors with conditions like arthritis may find brushing their teeth difficult, which is why electric toothbrushes may be more effective.
Drink Plenty of Water: The use of oral medications becomes more common as we age. As these products can dry out the mouth, be sure to stay hydrated after using them. The fluoride in tap water can also prevent tooth decay!
Use Mouthwash: Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash between brushings to keep the mouth and teeth clean.
Clean Dentures: The best way to prevent bacteria from growing on dentures is to clean them daily.
Maintaining Oral Health at a Skilled Nursing Community
Getting a senior into the habit of maintaining their dental health can be a challenge. Our goal at Bear Creek Nursing Center in Hudson, Florida, is to help seniors live a healthy, happy life. Call us today at (727) 863-5488 to learn more about our community.