Dental care for seniors, like people of all ages, typically relies on regularly brushing teeth, flossing, and visiting the dentist. These aspects of dental care can be challenging for seniors to manage, but taking the time to ensure your senior loved one maintains his or her oral health is very important. Paying attention to oral health ensures seniors gain the following advantages.
1. Reduces Infection Risks
The main benefit of dental care is that it stops bacteria from flourishing in the mouth, which can prevent a wide range of painful infections that could cause cavities, decaying tooth roots, and gum disease. Seniors are already more susceptible to oral infections due to higher rates of dry mouth and overall weakened immune systems, so taking other steps to prevent infection is important.
2. Prevents Tooth Loss
Seniors need to take care of their teeth because infections and receding gums can result in tooth loss. Teeth are essential for eating and talking clearly, and they’re also closely linked to social interaction and self-esteem. Though modern tooth-replacement techniques are impressive, they still cause a lot of expense, hassle, and discomfort. Whenever possible, seniors should try to keep their own teeth.
Professional caregivers can be a great asset for seniors who need help with everyday tasks such as brushing and flossing their teeth. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Albuquerque elder care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
3. Lowers Heart Disease Risk
The exact link between heart disease and gum disease isn’t fully understood, but evidence suggests infectious bacteria in the gums can easily enter the bloodstream and cause damage to the cardiovascular system. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, having periodontal disease can increase the risk of getting heart disease. This might sound concerning, but fortunately, periodontal disease is preventable. Brushing teeth thoroughly twice a day and flossing once a day is often enough to prevent periodontitis.
4. Reduces the Risk of Pneumonia
Pneumonia can occur whenever any type of bacteria enters the lungs and grows to levels that impair breathing. It’s one of the most dangerous health conditions among seniors because it can make it almost impossible to breathe. Dental hygiene issues are linked to pneumonia in seniors because those with mouth infections have higher levels of oral bacteria. This bacteria can collect in tiny droplets that are inhaled, and then they can travel to the lungs and eventually cause serious problems.
If your loved one is diagnosed with pneumonia or any other serious disease, compassionate help is available. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Albuquerque seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
5. Prevents Abscesses
When an oral infection is left for too long, it can develop into an abscess, a pocket of pus and bacteria that gradually worsens and spreads throughout the body. Dental abscesses are very dangerous. In addition to causing extensive pain, the infection can travel into the bone or bloodstream and eventually have fatal results. Fortunately, abscesses are almost entirely preventable and treatable. It’s rare that they happen in seniors with good dental hygiene, and prompt treatment can keep them from worsening.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care services. Albuquerque, NM, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at 505-798-0800 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.