Did you know that giving your teeth and gums the attention they deserve, and maintaining your full smile into your senior years is absolutely possible? That’s right, you can continue to smile, communicate confidently, and eat all of the foods you love no matter how old you are. Most importantly, if you help your loved one maintain their dental health, you’ll be helping them set their bodies up for better overall health and wellness! Your dental health is directly tied to the health of your body, meaning if your dental health is at risk, then it is likely that your body is also suffering.
Important Facts and Statistics
By the year 2060 it is estimated that there will be 98 million adults in America who will be over the age of 65. 96% of people over the age of 65 have a cavity. To top this off, 1 in 5 of these cases go untreated. 2 out of every 3 people over this age also have gum disease, and 1 in 5 have lost all of their teeth altogether.
This happens because as you age, your mouth, teeth, and gums experience changes just like the rest of your body.
- Your diet and drink habits, along with exposure to certain things wear away at the tooth enamel
- Teeth become less sensitive, so individuals don’t notice pain until the problem is extensive
- Gum tissue naturally recedes with age
- Difficulty with arthritis in the hands and fingers cause issues with brushing and flossing properly
- Certain medications cause dry-mouth, which can increase the bacteria in your mouth
Another big issue that your loved one may face when it comes to their dental health is keeping up with regular checkups. Keeping these appointments can help ensure that any issues that aren’t causing pain are caught and preventative measures are put in place.
Common Dental Issues
While dental issues are common at any age, the combination of factors mentioned above can cause any combination of the following issues:
- Tooth Decay, which should be repaired as soon as possible
- Gum recession, if not caught early it can cause root decay and gum disease
- Bad breath, which may be a symptom of gum disease
- Dark teeth and tooth loss
Common Health Problems Related to Dental Health
Even if you don’t care about the appearance of your smile, or your ability to eat and speak normally, there are very important reasons you’ll want to keep your smile in top form. The mouth is a window to the rest of your body. This means that disease, tooth loss, decay, and other dental health issues affect your overall health and wellbeing. Taking care of your teeth and gums reduces the risk of other serious illnesses, such as:
- Heart Disease – often there is bacteria in the mouth that moves into the bloodstream through the gum tissue. This bacteria works itself into the walls of blood vessels, and contributes to cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
- Respiratory Infections – Other forms of bacteria from the mouth has the ability to reach the lungs and has been shown to cause serious infections in older adults. These infections often lead to pneumonia.
- Diabetes – If your loved one has diabetes, then they are more susceptible to developing gum disease. This goes hand in hand, because once you have gum disease, it becomes difficult to control blood sugar levels.
Care For Your Teeth as You Age
Remember to practice dental hygiene habits, brushing and flossing. Don’t skip your dental visits. Another helpful tip is to drink plenty of water. Hydration benefits your teeth and gums, and it also washes away leftover food.
When it comes right down to it, making sure that dental hygiene and dental visits are a priority for your loved one is imperative. If you need help, Homewatch CareGivers of Bryan College Station can provide you with information and resources to guide you, we can also assist with transportation and care. Keep reading our website for more information or contact us today to learn more.