As a dentist for seniors in McKinney, TX, Dr. Lawrence wants his patients to fully understand how the link between their oral health has been fully established. While maintaining a healthy smile matters for adults of all ages, it takes on even more importance for seniors. The older a person becomes, the more susceptible they become to developing a range of chronic oral health issues. Additionally, seniors often have more trouble maintaining their daily oral hygiene routines, as mobility issues can make brushing and flossing more difficult.
Many adults also tend to make maintaining their oral health less of a priority, especially as they continue to age. Unfortunately, by not prioritizing their oral health, many adults can face significant health problems that can lower their quality of life as they move to enjoy their golden years.
Potential for Health Problems Increase
Not focusing on their oral health can lead many adults to develop problems with their teeth and gums, but it can also lead to the development of more widespread disease throughout the body. Fortunately, by continuing to practice quality oral hygiene you can not only benefit the health of your teeth and gums, you can also reduce the risk for other systemic conditions.
Significant reasons to continue brushing and flossing include tooth loss, gum disease, heart disease, tooth decay, diabetes, dementia, and even cancer. When seniors neglect their oral health they don’t just risk the health of their smiles. Not brushing contributes to the development of tooth decay, but it also increases the risk for developing heart disease, stroke, and other life-threatening conditions.
Since air first passes through the mouth before reaching the lungs, a higher level of harmful bacteria in the mouth increases the risk that those bacteria can enter the lungs and cause an infection to develop. While that may seem strange to hear – that oral bacteria can cause lung-related disease – studies have repeatedly found that oral bacteria can move throughout the body, causing inflammation to develop wherever it lands.
Signs of Potential Senior Oral Health Problems
Now that we’ve established the importance of senior dental care, there are a number of common oral health problems that many seniors tend to ignore. If you experience any of these issues, you need to schedule an appointment with a dentist for seniors in McKinney, TX.
- Bleeding gums. Your gums shouldn’t bleed after brushing. If they do, there’s an excellent chance that you’re suffering from an infection caused by gum disease. Dr. Lawrence can help diagnose the cause of your bleeding gums and provide a recommendation on how to restore your oral health.
- Softer teeth. Healthy teeth don’t get softer the older we become. Softer teeth are the result of bone loss, periodontal disease, or dental decay. Regardless of the reason, you need to seek immediate dental care to help reverse the problem before permanent tooth loss occurs.
- Oral pain. If it hurts to chew, talk, or drink hot or cold beverages, you may have an underlying oral health problem that needs treatment. Waiting to receive treatment only allows the condition to become worse, so don’t grin and bear the pain. Seek help from Dr. Lawrence.
A healthy smile matters, regardless of age. Don’t neglect the health of your teeth and gums as you move into the golden years. You can still enjoy a healthy, great-looking smile later in life if you continue to make dental care a priority.