Aging gracefully involves addressing a variety of health issues, including oral health. Ignoring oral health can have some serious impacts on how well seniors are able to fare as they grow older. Having help from personal care at home can be just what seniors need in order to take the best possible care of their oral health over time.
Health Issues and Medication Impact Oral Health
When seniors are battling health issues already, they tend to be taking medication to help them manage those issues. The difficulty here is that medications bring side effects along with them. Side effects like dry mouth are particularly important to take care of in order to avoid digestive issues and tooth decay. Home care providers can help by offering seniors hydrating foods and beverages more often and following medical advice for dealing with side effects.
Gum Disease Is a Huge Problem
As seniors age, they’re more likely to develop issues like periodontal disease. This is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes gums to swell and even to become infected if ignored. Factors like smoking, medical conditions, and poor oral hygiene can all contribute to gum disease or make it worse. Sticking with regular dental checkups and daily oral care helps to keep periodontal disease under better control.
Tooth Sensitivity and Receding Gums Become Worse with Age
Seniors may find that they start to develop other issues, like receding gums and tooth sensitivity. Enamel on the tooth surface wears down over time, which exposes the more sensitive areas of the teeth. Receding gums also clear the path to more sensitive areas of the teeth. Using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help. It also helps for seniors to have assistance from personal care at home to brush gently and properly.
Root Surface Cavities Become More Common
Seniors are particularly susceptible to root surface cavities, which are cavities that form at the roots of teeth, closer to the gums. If they’re also battling receding gums, this is more likely. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping up with regular dental visits can help keep an eye on this type of dental issue. This type of cavity can cause rapid tooth decay, even leading to rapid tooth loss.
Dentists Need to Understand Existing Medical Conditions
The more that dentists understand about seniors’ health and their existing medical conditions, the easier it is for them to help manage dental care for their senior patients accordingly. Many seniors start to avoid dental visits, especially if they are experiencing a lot of pain and frustration around dental hygiene. Having help from personal care at home providers can make a lot of this easier.
There are so many different reasons that seniors need to pay attention to oral health as they age. Working with personal care at home can make this much easier. That assistance also keeps family caregivers aware of what is going on with seniors and their oral health, which is important in terms of keeping them as healthy as possible overall.