As our loved ones age and are placed into nursing homes, oftentimes the first thing to get overlooked is their oral health. Because the status of a person’s teeth can greatly affect their overall health, this concern needs to be addressed. Your elderly loved ones need proper tooth brushing as well as regular dental appointments in order to ensure their longevity. If oral health gets overlooked, they could be at risk for a whole host of health issues including heart disease, pneumonia and even diabetes.
Many seniors are on medication for various ailments. These medications could be contributing to poor oral health because it can affect the production of their saliva. Without proper saliva production, food particles remain in the teeth, putting them at risk for tooth decay and/or gum disease. If this is combined with very minimal tooth brushing, the risk of serious oral health issues can become easily exacerbated.
The Risk of Pneumonia
Germs in an elderly person’s mouth can easily be transferred into their lungs through inhalation. They can also be passed into the bloodstream, putting their entire body at risk for infection, but when germs get inhaled into the lungs, seniors are often prone to pneumonia, which can be devastating for someone in a fragile state of health as it is.
If you have an elderly relative, it is important to make sure that he/she is getting proper oral health care. At the very least, brushing and flossing his teeth twice a day is vital, but regular dental appointments should also be sought in order to allow early treatment for problems to occur, preventing serious issues from occurring in the long run. Call our office today if you have questions about concerns you may have about your loved one’s oral health.