There are so many things that become more complicated as we age. Many personal care routines become more involved, or more complex, but they’re necessary to protect against the signs of aging. There are several ways to improve your quality of life as a senior. Dental care is one such essential, yet it’s also one of the most overlooked.
So, why exactly should senior dental health be taken so seriously? Read on, and find out why.
Saliva serves as the first step of the chemical digestion process. It not only helps keep the mouth lubricated, but it also allows you to wash down food debris and bacteria. By keeping the mouth wet, saliva helps prevent the growth of bacteria and it also supplies calcium and phosphorous to your teeth.
Dry mouth is a common occurrence among the elderly because of the intake of medication that has dry mouth as a side effect. Having a dry mouth is a precursor to many of the following problems in this article.
Gum disease, or gingivitis, is caused by the food particles that have been left behind in the mouth (because of poor oral hygiene). It is often the first sign that you need to start taking better care of your teeth. It can also be caused by poorly-fitted dentures, smoking, and highly-acidic diets. If left unchecked, gingivitis will lead of several serious illnesses, some of which, will be mentioned in this article.
Otherwise known as “severe gum disease”, Periodontitis hinders the body from being able to properly process and absorb insulin. The inability to make use of insulin is one of the main characteristics of Diabetes.
Whether it’s type 1 or type 2 Diabetes, Diabetes is characterized by one thing - the chronic inability to regulate blood sugar. Periodontitis is one cause of both types of Diabetes. This also causes the patient to become irritable as well as to lose substantial weight.
If left unchecked, tooth decay will eventually lead to the removal of the infected teeth in order to prevent the infection from reaching the gums. Now, the removal in itself is not the cause of drifting teeth (or the change in formation and orientation of the teeth). Rather, it is caused by the failure to replace the extracted teeth. This is a procedure that is best performed by an implant dentist. Failure to replace extracted teeth will cause your teeth to reposition, thereby causing bite problems as well as a distortion in the jawline.
Pneumonia happens when bacterial droplets from the mouth are breathed into the lungs. The bacteria then infects one or both of the lungs, causing them to become inflamed. Pneumonia has various degrees of severity ranging from mild to life-threatening.
Seniors are particularly susceptible to this condition because they often require the help of caregivers and nursing staff to help them maintain their oral hygiene (which is actually the most effective way of preventing Pneumonia).