22 Mar 6 Reasons Why Senior Dental Care is Important
As we age, there are some things that we tend to neglect. Dental health seems to be one of the personal hygiene steps that can tend to be forgotten. At Hicks Dental Group in Prescott, we want to remind you that oral health is an important part of whole-body health. So whether you yourself are aging, or you have loved ones who are, it is important to make sure that senior dental care remains a priority.
Reasons Senior Dental Health Care Is Important
Poor oral health has been linked to pneumonia in older adults. This is caused by breathing in bacterial droplets from the mouth to the lungs. Good oral hygiene is the best way to fight this bacteria. It is particularly important in nursing homes, where many residents are unable to care for their teeth and have to rely on caregivers.
- Darkened Teeth
As we age, the dentin, or the bone-like tissue that underlies the tooth enamel, changes because of the beverages and foods we consume. Staining, in addition to a thinning of the outer enamel layer, allows the yellow dentin show through, causing the teeth to darken.
- Gum Disease
The risk for gum disease increases as we age. Gum disease is commonly caused by plaque and food left in our teeth. Other causes include the use of tobacco, unhealthy diets, poor-fitting bridges and dentures, and diseases like anemia, cancer and diabetes. Gum disease can cause tooth loss and can be very serious for overall health.
- Root Decay
Root decay is very common in the elderly. It is typically caused by exposure to acids from food. As the tooth roots become exposed, gum tissue recedes from the tooth, making them prone to decay.
- Denture-Induced Stomatitis
Caused by poor fitting dentures, poor denture hygiene, or a buildup of the fungus candida albicans, denture-induced stomatitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue underlying dentures. This condition can be quite painful.
- Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications. Cancer treatments that use radiation to the head and neck area can also cause dry mouth. Saliva keeps the mouth moist, which protects teeth from decay and prevents infection by fighting bacteria in the mouth.
As you can see, senior dental care needs to be taken seriously. Taking care of teeth and gums as you age is just as important taking care of digestive or heart health. Make sure that you or your aging loved ones are keeping up with daily oral hygiene and visiting us here at Hicks Dental Group in Prescott twice a year for cleanings. Taking these steps will ensure that your smile stays beautiful and healthy as you age!
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