When was the last time you saw your dentist? Most of us keep on top of our regular check-ups, but as we age our health changes, and the importance of good oral health also changes. While dental hygiene has a significant impact on overall health, seniors can sometimes struggle to maintain with difficulties in getting to the dentist, prescription medication affecting the mouth, or even arthritis preventing good brushing. But did you know that poor dental health increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses?
Gum disease is a prime culprit for seniors, and is entirely preventable. In order to reduce risk of gum disease, always brush at least twice a day, use fluoride, and visit your dentist regularly for cleaning. Smoking significantly increases risk of gum disease.
Dry mouth is not a part of getting old. It is often a side effect of prescription medication or radiation therapy, so speak to your doctor if you are experiencing dry mouth. Not having enough saliva can make eating uncomfortable or difficult, as well as increase risk of tooth decay without enough saliva to coat the teeth.
Brushing at least twice a day and attending regular cleanings at the dentist will greatly reduce the risk of tooth decay, which is mainly caused by the build up of plaque on teeth over time.