Good oral hygiene is important for all seniors because many factors that come into play as people age can make them more susceptible to dental problems. It is essential that older adults continue to schedule regular dental checkups in order to catch oral health issues as they arise.
If your aging parent or loved one is unable to drive or does not have access to public transportation, make sure they are provided with the assistance needed to attend regular dental checkups, whether you drive them yourself or hire a caregiver for San Antonio hourly care to provide reliable transportation and accompaniment. Dentists will be able to identify oral care issues early, which can include:
Many medications that older people take can cause them to have a dry mouth that can contribute to the development of cavities and gum disease. Decreased saliva can also be caused by cancer treatments.
Patients who wear dentures may not see the need to visit a dentist because most or all of their teeth are gone. However, this is far from the truth! Seniors and older adults who wear false teeth need regular checkups because problems can occur such as:
- Callouses from ill-fitting devices that rub
- Infections caused by sores
- Natural bone atrophy that leads to poorly fitting trays
- Pain that can lead to poor nutrition
A recent study showed that seniors who did not practice good oral hygiene were more susceptible to contracting pneumonia, an illness that can wreak havoc on the weakened immune system of an aging adult. Uncontrolled bacteria in the mouth can cause older adults to inhale pathogens into the lungs that cause pneumonia and other infections.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of the gums that is the number one cause of tooth loss in seniors. If caught early enough, gum disease can be halted and the teeth can be saved.
Gingivitis is gum disease in its earliest stages, and it can be reversed with meticulous oral hygiene and professional treatment. The symptoms include:
- Red gums
- Bleeding during brushing
- Swollen gum tissue
While proper oral care can ensure a mouth without cavities, it also plays a large role in overall senior health. If you believe that an aging parent or loved one needs assistance with personal care activities, transportation for dentist appointments or help with other household chores, visit our website at In-home care San Antonio and learn more about our in-home care services or call us directly at (210) 495-6300 and speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager.