A Guide for Oral Health for Seniors
For seniors, oral health is an essential, yet often overlooked aspect of living a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining good oral hygiene for older adults is critical in not only preventing oral health issues, but also potentially serious chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
It’s important for seniors to maintain both good oral hygiene and routine dental check-ups because older adults are at a higher risk for oral-based problems than younger adults. Seniors have an increased rate of tooth loss and oral infections. For example, the rate of periodontal disease (a serious gum infection that can cause damage to the gum and destroy the jawbone) is a staggering 70.1% in adults aged 65 and older, compared to just 24.4% in adults aged 30-34. Without treatment, periodontal disease and tooth decay can lead to increased infection, pain, tooth loss, and other side-effects.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), while 76% of seniors said they plan to see a dentist within the next year, only 42% had gone within the previous year. For seniors in the low-income bracket, that number was only 23%. For many older adults, cost can be a roadblock to regular dental exams. Dental benefits often vanish after retirement, and without finding an insurance replacement, even routine check-ups can be unaffordable for some.
We created this guide to help seniors overcome the additional challenges they face in maintaining good oral health. In addition to discussing the overall importance of oral health, we will explain how to take care of your teeth, what to expect during your next dental visit, and how to obtain financial assistance.
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