Consequences of Poor Dental Health to Senior Citizens
Older adults are at increased risk for dental problems, due to comorbidity associated with diabetes and heart disease. The consequences of poor dental health for older people can be dire. That’s why it is so unfortunate that senior dental care is not easy to make happen. Here are some of the challenges senior citizens face when attempting to access dental services for seniors and why they’re so crucial to overcome.
Seniors Struggle to Access Clinics
Dental care is often separate from typical health insurance. If someone enters old age without existing dental care benefits, it can be difficult for them to purchase a new policy at a reasonable price. As a result, many older people are on their own when it comes to seeking help from a dentist. However, many retirees don’t have the support they need to access senior dental care. For instance, they may not have their own transportation. They might experience a physical disability or cognitive challenges, such as age-related memory loss, that can make planning and keeping appointments difficult. All of these reasons contribute to poor dental health for seniors.
Negative Consequences of Poor Senior Dental Care
Dental care is a critical service that can help seniors live longer and more comfortably. Without it, older people are more likely to experience preventable problems like toothaches, tooth loss, and gum disease. These issues can rapidly lead to depression, social isolation, and other health problems.
One challenge that older people face is tooth decay. A dry mouth increases the risk of cavities due to bacteria, and many seniors experience dry mouth as a side effect of medications. Without good dental care for senior citizens, millions of people suffer through unnecessary dental pain. Tooth loss is also common. In fact, the CDC reports that one out of every five adults over the age of 65 has lost all their teeth. This can make it more difficult to eat fresh and healthy foods.
Overall, there are many things that senior citizens can be doing to take care of their dental health on their own. This includes typical habits like brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. But it’s also important to continue helping the older adult in your life with access to dental services for seniors. Everyone deserves great dental care as they age. Encourage them to speak with their dentist about medications and help them eat healthy to prolong the life of their teeth.