Introduction to Dental Care for Seniors
Dentures and old age: the combination is a stereotype that we usually think of as an inevitable part of senior life.
But despite what you may think, not all seniors lose their pearly whites in old age. With proper care and an understanding of how oral health works, you or your aging loved one can keep your smile for many years to come.
Through this series, we are going to discuss proper dental care for seniors, from some basic things you and your aging loved one should know, to how to properly care for your teeth, as well as denture care.
For today, we are going to focus on a few basic know-hows. Take a look below:
Below, we’ve outlined some statistics in regards to tooth loss:
- According to the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA), Almost 250 million people or about 40 percent of the adult population in Europe, USA and Japan are estimated to suffer from some form of edentulousness, or loss of natural teeth.
- And, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the prevalence of both partial and total tooth loss in seniors has decreased from the early 1970s; seniors over age 65 have lost an average of 13 teeth (including wisdom teeth) and 26% of seniors over age 65 have no remaining teeth.
- Oral related health issues also account for a significant number of emergency visits, with one report noting that 830,000 visits were made to emergency departments for preventable dental conditions in 2009â€“a 16% increase from 2006.
- Oral health related issues do not solely affect the teeth, but gums as well. According to one report, nearly 23% of adults ages 65-74 have severe gum disease.
- Another important thing to consider is that those with dentures are still not safe from oral health issues, as poorly fitted dentures and improper care of them can result in gum disease and other oral related diseases (e.g. thrush, denture induced stomatitis).
Brushing and flossing aren’t always enough
Brushing and flossing are an extremely important part of oral health care. However, proper oral health care does not stop there. Regular check ups with your dentist are also important, as they can properly determine the exact state of health that your teeth and gums are in.
Age is not the sole factor of poor oral health
Fortunately, as stated by WebMD, age in and of itself is not a dominant or sole factor in determining oral health. Other factors such as certain medical conditions, such as arthritis, which may make brushing and flossing difficult; anemia, cancer and diabetes; poor dieting; and certain medications can all affect our oral health. As such, it is important to be aware of these conditions and how they affect us.
Check back on Wednesday when we discuss how to properly take care of your teeth. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns about the information we’ve outlined above. Feel free to give us a call. We’re always here to help!
Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living “currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa “provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Call us at 402-331-2273.
“Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.private-duty.pchhc.com.”