While dental problems in people age 55 and older can be common, as people age, it is all-too-common to let dental care fall by the wayside. Your mouth’s health is directly related to your overall health, and making sure seniors have healthy teeth and gums along with proper nutritional intake and adequate physical activity is an important part of staying in great shape.
According to one report from the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute, only 42% of seniors visited the dentist this last year, and another 72% say they plan to do so over the course of the next year. When it comes to this age group, taking care of your mouth is just as important as heart or digestive system, and common problems like periodontal disease and dry mouth can wreak havoc on your health.
Senior dental problems can be common, from dry mouth to periodontal disease, and since oral health directly impacts the health of the rest of the body, these issues need to be taken seriously. Taking care of elderly teeth and gums is just as important as digestive or heart health.
It is recommended that everyone visit the dentist at least twice a year for routine checkups and cleaning, and the reasons the seniors who were involved in this survey gave for not seeing the dentist regularly ranged from fear of the dentist to having trouble locating a dentist to believing that they didn’t have any reason to go. At 49%, the number one reason seniors reported not visiting the dentist was the cost, and this was regardless of income, with having no original teeth being the top reason that was stated by seniors in high income levels.
While the majority of seniors reported having good or excellent dental health, 21% has teeth that were merely in fair condition, while 7% had teeth that were in poor shape. Research has shown a connection between poor dental health and issues that range from heart disease to pneumonia to diabetes, and if you wear dentures, denture-induced stomatitis can also be a serious issue.
With so many advances in dental technology today, including many new sedation and pain-control methods that make going to the dentist easier than ever before, there’s no reason seniors need to look or feel anything less than their absolute best when it comes to their oral health.
If you or a loved one are a senior who has not seen a Las Vegas dentist in the last six months, call Dr. Hadley’s office to schedule your routine cleaning today.