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The Importance of Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene’s important for the elderly. So whether you have a dentist in your retirement community or elsewhere, keeping appointments is necessary. One reason is age affects dental health, and further good dental health prevents other medical conditions. Now achieving solid dental health can be harder for seniors because flossing and brushing can become difficult from arthritis. Or some drugs taken can additionally affect oral health. Still, good dental health should be a priority within the senior community.

There are some medical problems bad teeth and gums can also cause; heart attacks, strokes and even other heart diseases as examples. Too, having cavities, gingivitis and gum disease; or even missing teeth, has been shown to double the risk of contracting heart disease.

In addition, pneumonia’s been linked to poor oral health in retirement communities and elsewhere. This is because many seniors find it harder to breath with age so they breathe through their mouths, and the bad bacteria in salvia droplets from poor dental health then inhaled makes seniors more susceptible to pneumonia. But brushing teeth and practicing good oral hygiene helps combat this. Also another dental problem, periodontitis, can hinder a person with diabetes’ ability to process insulin correctly. A vicious cycle then develops because the high blood sugar from diabetes can increase; besides just cause gum infections.

Now some dental issues such as dry mouth can come from medications that seniors take. Dry mouth can incubate a host of problem causers such as bacteria, viruses and fungi which can cause infections and tooth decay. Furthermore, if you have badly fitting dentures, you can develop a buildup of the fungus, Candida albicans, which will cause the tissue under the denture to become inflamed and painful which can then cause more health problems like the ones stated above.

So what can you do besides go to the dentist regularly for good dental health? Well, below are some tips:

  • Use an electric toothbrush and brush twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss your teeth at least once a day and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day.
  • Since most tap water contains fluoride, drink tap water to help prevent tooth decay.
  • Stop smoking since it increases the risk of gum disease, tooth loss and decaying of teeth.
  • You can use a dry mouth mouthwash if you have dry mouth.

To close, it’s important to schedule dental appointments every six months for good dental health.

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