As summer begins its descent into autumn, families start thinking about back-to-school necessities, including health and dental checkups. Even though senior citizens are long past that stage of life, it is still prudent to make sure their oral health is what it should be. Unfortunately, dental care can be easily overlooked whether your loved one is in assisted living or still living at home until there is a noticeable problem.
Oral Health for Overall Wellbeing
A healthy mouth is not just for looks. Even though appearance is important, oral health is also linked to general health. For example, in older adults, the main cause of tooth loss is due to gum disease. Gum disease is also linked to other major health concerns such as heart problems, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and other illnesses.
Treating gum disease or, better yet, preventing it is important at this age. Regular dental checkups are just as crucial for older adults as they are for school-aged children. Even people who do not have teeth are encouraged to have regular dental examinations.
Having no teeth at all can be a serious problem. Besides not being able to chew food sufficiently, edentulous people are often susceptible to chronic kidney disease. A complete set of dentures will help the person chew their food to extract the nutrients from it. If for some reason, an individual is unable to wear dentures, dental examinations are still important.
Oral cancers are one of the most easily treated cancers, yet they are also among the least diagnosed. Only about 20 percent of the general population gets cancer screening annually. When detected and treated early, the rate of survival is quite high. Oral cancer screening is painless and only takes a few minutes, which can save a life.
Don’t Forget the Dentist!
When you have an elderly loved one, regardless of their living circumstances, at home or in an assisted living community, remember to attend to their oral health just as you would their general health. In some instances, such as with periodontal disease, they may have a problem they are unaware of. For example, if your loved one has a sweet tooth, make sure it is not leading to decayed teeth and if it is, get them repaired.
At Gianna Homes, we do our best to ensure that all our residents are healthy and happy. Find out more about availability and the care we offer by contacting us today.