Dental Care: There Is No Age Limit on Good Oral Health

Posted by Prath Bala
18 Mar, 2022

Oral care should be a priority for everyone and especially for older adults.

Whether you are 25 or 85, a healthy smile is an important part of looking and feeling good. Decay, loose dentures, missing teeth, and other oral health issues can lead to a range of issues, including social isolation, decreased self-esteem, poor nutrition, and more.

Despite being at a higher risk of oral health issues, the elderly population is often neglected when it comes to professional dental care. Whether due to travelling difficulties or cognitive impairment, many elderly patients do not receive the dental care they need and deserve.

Fortunately, advances in the field of dentistry have led to safe, effective mobile dental treatments. Our mobile dentistry unit contains all the necessary equipment to provide safe, comfortable dental care to elderly patients in the comfort of their place of residence.

Here, we’ll cover why oral health care for elderly patients is crucial for their well-being, why you are never too old for dental care, and how our mobile dentistry team brings quality dental care to Perth and the surrounding areas.

What Are the Benefits of Oral Health Care for Elderly Patients?

Consistent dental checkups and proper oral health care for elderly patients can offer a wide range of potential benefits, including:

  • Improved sleep (discomfort from dental issues can lead to poor or disrupted sleep)
  • Improved appearance
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Easier chewing (this can lead to improved nutrition and enjoyment of eating)
  • Improved vitality
  • Improved quality of life
  • Improved overall health
  • More comfortable social interactions

7 Reasons to Make Dental Care a Priority for Seniors

Oral health has a significant impact on quality of life and overall health, including in older individuals. Chronic illnesses, dry mouth, certain medications, and decay can leave elderly individuals at an increased risk of dental problems.

Unfortunately, access to proper dental care can be difficult for elderly patients due to lack of transportation, physical disabilities, cognitive conditions, dental phobia, memory loss, and other issues.

Safe and effective senior dental care may help prevent common problems, such as tooth loss, gum disease, and toothaches, ensuring an improved quality of life and overall well-being.

Here are seven reasons it is crucial to prioritise dental care for elderly patients.

1. Gum Disease

Gum disease is a rampant problem in the elderly population. Left untreated, gum disease can become severe and lead to difficulty chewing, tooth loss, soreness, bleeding gums, and additional health problems.

The early stages of gum disease do not always include symptoms, leaving many individuals unaware they have gum disease until it is in the advanced stages. This makes it crucial for seniors and elderly patients to receive regular dental exams to detect and treat gum disease as early as possible.

2. Tooth Decay

Plaque caused by bacteria can harm teeth enamel and lead to tooth decay. Elderly patients with dry mouths are especially vulnerable to cavities since saliva helps fight bacteria and protect the teeth. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications prescribed to elderly individuals.

Discomfort from poor oral health disrupts sleep and the ability to relax.

3. Tooth Loss

Tooth loss is a common issue in older individuals. Along with discomfort and decreased self-esteem, tooth loss can negatively impact nutrition. If an elderly individual is unable to consume fresh, whole food options, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, it can lead to nutritional deficiencies and imbalances.

4. Diabetes

Individuals with blood sugar issues are at an increased risk of dental problems, such as gum disease and inflammation. This is a result of high sugar levels in the saliva that allow for bacterial overgrowth in the mouth.

5. Heart Disease

Inflammation resulting from gum disease raises the risk of heart disease. Gum disease can also worsen certain heart conditions and raise a patient’s risk of stroke.

An infection in the mouth can go into the inner layer of the heart.

6. Oral Cancer

Older adults are at an increased risk for oral cancers. This risk is even higher for individuals who chew tobacco or smoke cigars, cigarettes, or pipes. Early detection is key, making it critical for elderly patients to receive regular dental check-ups.

7. Pneumonia

Older individuals with poor dental hygiene are at a higher risk of bacterial pneumonia, particularly if they smoke. Proper dental hygiene is an important step in lowering the risk of bacterial pneumonia in elderly adults.

How Often Should Older Adults Visit the Dentist?

Older adults should receive regular dental checkups – at least once every six months. Consistent dental evaluations and care from a professional mobile dentistry team ensure early detection of oral health issues. Recognising oral health issues, such as gum disease, early is crucial for preventing serious complications such as infection or tooth loss.

During regular mobile dental checkups, a dentist can also check for receding gums, bone loss, disease, medication-related oral health side effects, dry mouth, and other oral health issues faced by the elderly population.

Tips for Good Oral Health Care for Elderly Patients

Good oral hygiene for elderly patients involves many of the same recommendations for younger individuals, such as:

  • Brushing at least twice a day
  • Flossing at least once a day
  • Receiving regular dental check-ups
  • Using a mouthwash with fluoride once or twice a day

Additional oral hygiene care or assistance may be required if a patient has dentures, takes certain medications, or cannot brush or floss by themselves due to medical concerns, such as arthritis or cognitive impairment.

Ask your dental professional for specific recommendations for oral hygiene care and tips for keeping your loved ones’ oral health in good condition.

Brushing twice a day should be a well-established routine for many seniors.

Would You Like More Information on Dental Care for Elderly Patients?

Do you or your elderly loved one have concerns about oral health? Do you worry you are too old for dental care? Our caring team specialises in mobile dental treatment for older adults and believes everyone is deserving of high-quality, safe dental care and a healthy smile – no matter their age or health status.

Even if your elderly loved one is unable to travel to a traditional dental office, has a fear of dental treatments, or is uncooperative during treatments due to medical or cognitive issues, our mobile dentistry team can bring safe, effective dental care right to their place of residence.

There is no such thing as being too old for dental care. Reach out to our dedicated team today with any questions or to set up a consultation.