Four Risks of Skipping Dental Care After the Age of 65

Four Risks of Skipping Dental Care After the Age of 65
Skipping dental visits at any age is not advised. After the age of 65, it's critical that your parents see their dentist twice a year for cleanings and exams. If your parents smoke, it may be better to see the dentist more often that than.

Poor oral care increases several risks. Gum disease and tooth decay cause serious health issues that extend beyond the mouth. These are four of the main concerns.

Makes It Harder to Chew Foods

Poor nutrition is a concern in older adults. A diet needs to be high in fiber, antioxidants, and protein. When gum disease and tooth decay have set in, it can be hard to eat certain foods. Pain makes it hard to chew things like nuts, meats, and fresh produce. Softer foods like canned soups and pasta are not always the best options in terms of nutrition.

Cooking vegetables to a mushy state remove some of the vitamins and minerals. Plus, the lack of protein from skipping meats can lead to weaker muscles and balance issues.

Increases the Risk of Gum Disease

Poor oral care increases the risk of gum disease. As the gums recede and pull away from the teeth, pockets of bacteria get trapped and cause bone loss and decay. Left untreated, tooth loss is one of the biggest risks. The infection can also pose serious health issues.

Adds to the Risk of Heart Disease

Studies have found links between poor oral health and heart disease. If the bacteria from the mouth gets into the bloodstream, it can reach the heart and bring the bacterial infection to that vital organ. There's also the risk of inflammation causing problems with the heart.

Makes Aspiration Pneumonia Possible

If your parent's mouth is full of unhealthy bacteria, there is a chance of coughing and bringing the bacteria into the lungs. Aspiration pneumonia can be deadly if it goes untreated. Even if it's treated, your mom or dad may have to be hospitalized for days or weeks depending on the severity.

Do Your Parents Need Help With Oral Care?

Arthritis can make it hard for an older person to properly floss and brush the teeth. Holding a small toothbrush or floss between the fingers poses issues. Caregivers can help with oral care. They can schedule appointments, help with flossing and brushing, and take your parents to and from their dental check-ups. Call an agency to discuss personal care and grooming services from caregivers.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Avenues, UT, contact the caring staff at Interim Healthcare. Call today 801-401-3515.

Author: Michael and Marlena Hawkins, Owners, Interim HealthCare, Salt Lake City, UT 

Interim HealthCare of Salt Lake City has been in business since February 2014, providing in-home personal care and support services that help our elderly and/or disabled neighbors live enriched, safe and independent lives. Our goal is to provide customized care and support services that make it possible for our clients to remain in the comfort of their own homes rather than relocate to an assisted living facility. Interim HealthCare is family owned by Michael and Marlana Hawkins, and is a Veteran Owned Small Business.

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