Did you know that poor oral health can have a significant impact on your overall health? It’s true! In fact, research has shown that people who neglect their oral health are more likely to develop serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is essential for seniors. In this blog post, we will discuss the impacts of neglecting senior oral health and provide some tips for keeping your teeth and gums healthy as you age.
How Poor Oral Health impacts Overall Health
Poor oral health can lead to several serious health problems. For example, research has shown that people with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease.
Gum Disease Causes Inflammation
Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth and gums. This buildup can cause inflammation and infection in the gums, which can eventually lead to heart disease.
In fact, studies have shown that people with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease. This is because the inflammation caused by gum disease can damage the lining of the arteries, which can lead to a buildup of plaque.
Plaque Buildup Increases the Risk of Stroke
In addition to heart disease, plaque buildup can also increase the risk of stroke. This is because plaque can cause blockages in the arteries that supply blood to the brain.
When these blockages occur, they can cause a stroke. Studies have shown that people with gum disease are three times more likely to suffer from a stroke than those without gum disease.
Poor Oral Health Can Lead to Diabetes
Another serious health problem that can be caused by poor oral health is diabetes. This is because gum disease can cause insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes.
In fact, studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are twice as likely to develop diabetes. This is because the inflammation caused by gum disease can damage the cells that produce insulin, which can lead to diabetes.
Poor Oral Health Impacts Confidence & Mood
Not only can poor oral health lead to serious health problems, but it can also impact your mood and confidence. This is because people who are self-conscious about their teeth and gums are more likely to feel anxious and depressed.
In addition, people with poor oral health are more likely to avoid social situations. This is because they may feel embarrassed about their smile.
These are just a few of the many negative impacts of poor oral hygiene for seniors.
Tips for Maintaining Healthy Oral Habits as You Age
There are several things you can do to maintain healthy oral habits as you age. Here are some tips:
Brush Your Teeth Twice Daily
One of the most important things you can do for your oral health is to brush your teeth twice daily. This will help remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums.
In addition to brushing, you should also floss daily. This will help remove plaque and bacteria from between your teeth.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Another important thing you can do for your oral health is to visit your dentist regularly. This will help identify any problems early and prevent them from becoming serious.
Maintain a Healthy Diet Low in Sugar
Eating a healthy diet low in sugar is also important for your oral health. This is because sugar can cause tooth decay.
Is Oral Health Care Important for Seniors With Dentures?
Many of the seniors we encounter have some form of tooth loss, whether it be from decay, gum disease, or injury. One common question we get is whether oral health care is still important for seniors with dentures.
The answer is yes! Even though you don’t have natural teeth, it’s important to take care of your gums and any remaining teeth. This will help prevent gum disease and other problems.
Here are some tips for taking care of your dentures:
Clean Your Dentures Daily
You should clean your dentures daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild soap. You should also rinse them after each meal.
Soak Your Dentures Overnight
You should soak your dentures overnight in water or a mild cleansing solution to keep them from drying out.
Handle Them With Care
You should handle your dentures with care to avoid breaking them.
See Your Dentist Regularly
You should see your dentist regularly to get your dentures checked and cleaned.
Oral Health Care Tips for Seniors in Hospice Care
If you are caring for a chronically ill senior or a senior in hospice care, oral health care may quickly become a low priority. However, it is important to remember that oral health care is essential for seniors in hospice care.
Here are some tips for providing oral health care for seniors in hospice:
Brush Their Teeth Twice Daily
One of the most important things you can do for a senior in hospice care is to help them brush their teeth twice daily. This will help remove plaque and bacteria from their teeth and gums.
Floss Their Teeth Daily
In addition to brushing, you should also help them floss their teeth daily. This will help remove plaque and bacteria from between their teeth.
Use Mouthwash Regularly
Another thing you can do to help a senior in hospice care maintain good oral health is to help them use mouthwash regularly. This will help kill bacteria and freshen their breath.
Provide Soft Foods
If a senior in hospice care is having difficulty eating, it is important to provide them with soft foods. This will help prevent them from choking and make it easier for them to eat.
Remember to consult with your loved one’s doctor or care team for additional tips on how to provide them with the best quality oral care for their current situation.
Prioritizing Oral Health Habits for Seniors
As you can see, oral health is important for seniors. Neglecting your oral health can lead to several serious health problems. That’s why it’s important to brush, floss, and visit your dentist regularly. Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet low in sugar is also important for your oral health.
If you have dentures, be sure to take care of them by cleaning them daily and seeing your dentist regularly. And if you are caring for a senior in hospice care, remember to prioritize their oral health habits. By following these tips, you can help keep your oral health in tip-top shape!