Many nursing home patients skip routine dental care. If your loved one is in a nursing home, oral care is critical. From daily brushing and flossing to trips to the dentist, nursing home patients need to take care of their teeth. Find out why dental care is so important for nursing home patients.
Benefits of routine dental care for nursing home patients
Seniors who fail to take care of their teeth and gums are prone to a variety of dental issues. The issues can harm seniors’ overall health and also hurt their teeth and gums. Discover the benefits of routine oral care for seniors. These benefits make it clear that oral hygiene is critical for nursing home patients.
Seniors who do not engage in routine dental care are at risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease can cause the teeth to fall out. Gum disease is also connected to health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. Routine dental cleanings remove the plaque and tartar that cause gum disease.
Root and tooth decay
Elderly people also face root and tooth decay. Many older people have a degree of gum recession. When the gums recede, the roots are exposed. Eating and drinking acidic foods and beverages can cause the roots and the rest of the tooth to decay. Untreated decay can cause dental abscesses and other health problems. Dentists provide preventative care to reduce the risk of decay setting in.
Seniors in nursing homes are often on lots of medications. This can cause dry mouth. When the mouth does not produce enough saliva, it is not able to wash away bacteria. Dry mouth is also uncomfortable for people. Fortunately, dentists can help with the symptoms of dry mouth during routine dental appointments. Seniors feel much better after receiving treatments for dry mouth.
Denture wearers who do not get routine oral care are also at risk for denture-induced stomatitis. This condition usually begins when dentures do not fit properly. A fungus builds up underneath the dentures, causing the gum tissue to become inflamed. This is a quite painful condition that can be avoided with routine oral care. Dentists can adjust dentures during routine visits while also ensuring the gums are healthy.
Seniors need to eat a diet full of healthy foods when they are in a nursing home. The right foods help seniors stay mentally and physically strong. It can be hard to eat without routine dental care, though. Many seniors experience bone loss due to missing teeth that have not been replaced. This can cause the bite to become uneven, making it difficult to eat.
Dental care is critical for seniors
Regular dental care helps seniors avoid periodontal disease as well as root and tooth decay. Dentists can also treat dry mouth and ensure dentures fit properly, so patients do not get denture-induced stomatitis. Dentists can even help patients avoid bite issues. If you have loved ones in a nursing home, schedule regular dental appointments for them.
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