A healthy mouth can help prevent serious health conditions and promotes a better quality of life for everyone, especially among senior adults.
Impact of your oral health on your body
Poor dental hygiene affects much more than just our smile. In fact, oral health is related to diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, certain types of cancer, and other conditions.
You may wonder how the rest of your body can be affected by what happens in your mouth. There is a growing number of studies on this relationship, and researchers have found that plaque buildup on your teeth, as well as inflamed gums and periodontal disease, can pose a threat beyond your oral health.
They have mentioned, for example, that the bacteria present in your mouth are disseminated through your bloodstream and breath and that they are also linked to heart diseases.
Additionally, if someone has a severe gum disease, it can affect how their body uses insulin, which can in turn become a problem for those who have blood sugar issues. This can turn into a vicious cycle since it has been found that having uncontrolled blood sugar levels helps produce more plaque buildup in your mouth.
When we fail to look after our oral health, we are also at risk of losing our teeth, which would compromise our ability to chew and maintain an adequate diet, and all of this without taking into account the impact on a person’s self-esteem when they lose their teeth.
Age and your teeth
One of the reasons why your age affects your teeth is that senior adults may have difficulty brushing their teeth. For example, if you have arthritis, your condition could make it difficult to hold a toothbrush or use dental floss.
Besides, certain medications can dry out your mouth, which increases bacterial production in your mouth.
If you have any of the following symptoms, visit your dentist as soon as possible:
- red, sore, and swollen gums
- bleeding gums
- gums receding from the teeth, making them seem longer
- loose or sensitive teeth
- bad breath
- your bite feels different
- dentures don’t fit properly anymore
Recommendations to improve your oral health
One of the most important steps in order to keep your smile is visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a preventive cleaning and checkup.
Also, if you’re having difficulty using a regular toothbrush, try an electric toothbrush. You may also use antibacterial mouthwash. If you suffer from dry mouth, talk with your dentist to discuss your options.
It is recommended that you brush with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, twice a day, and that you use dental floss each time. If you use retainers or dental implants, you should also clean them on a daily basis. What about your toothbrush? Change it every three months.
Following a balanced diet will also help you prevent cavities and premature tooth loss, and it can also protect you from certain types of mouth cancer.
During the process of selecting your health plan, it is equally important that you make sure your plan has robust and comprehensive dental coverage.