As we get older, our oral health remains important, but it can become harder for us to take care of our teeth. Elderly oral health is an important issue because we need our teeth to maintain a healthy diet and also because of the connections between gum disease and cardiovascular problems. Geriatric dentistry provides solutions for these issues so that you can maintain a healthy smile well into your old age.
The Challenges of Elderly Oral Health
Old age can make many things more difficult for us. Taking care of our teeth is no exception. As we grow older, mobility issues such as arthritis can make it much more difficult for us to effectively brush our teeth. For those who unable to leave the house, either because they can no longer drive or because they are in poor health, visiting a dentist can become a complex proposition.
Fortunately, there are solutions to these problems. Your dentist can recommend toothbrushes and floss holders specially designed for those with more limited mobility in their hands due to arthritis or other problems. Homebound dental care is also much more common, meaning that you might be able to get a dentist to come to you rather than your having to go to the dentist. This is particularly helpful for patients who can’t drive or who are housed in assisted living or other types of care facilities.
Tooth Loss Is Not Inevitable
Although the stereotypical picture of an elderly person involves missing teeth and a shrunken jaw, more and more people are keeping their natural teeth well into their old age. More dentists specialize in caring for the teeth of older patients, which means that there are more resources available to help the elderly maintain their oral health. Regular everyday dental care as well as regular professional dental care, including using a homebound care dentist, can make a huge difference in your oral health and, by extension, your health in general.
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