Many people don’t realize how interlinked our dental health is with our overall health. If you don’t take care of your teeth it can affect other areas of your life.
This is even more important as we age. There are many things that can reduce your quality of life as a senior citizen and having bad teeth is high on that list.
There is no doubt that taking good care of your teeth as an older adult is very challenging, but it is very important to take steps to maintain your dental health.
In this article, I will go over several ways that your teeth can reduce your overall health when they aren’t taken care of and what you can do about it.
Why it’s important
Infections can be deadly when we are older. And a cavity can quickly become infected. An infected tooth left unchecked can spread that infection throughout our body. It can even cause cardiovascular problems. Missing teeth can also cause issues. You can find dentists who place dental implants in Boston or wherever you’re located.
This would be bad enough in a young person, but in a senior with an already weak immune system it can cause some real damage.
There is also the issue of quality of life. Many seniors don’t eat well even with healthy teeth. Getting the proper nutrition when we are elderly is essential. If your teeth are in bad shape it makes eating a chore. And then it is even more likely that your diet will suffer. Then, this can lead to a myriad of health problems.
Going to the dentist is expensive so the better able you are to take care of your teeth, then the more money you will save. Hopefully, you do have some Medicare gap insurance like United of Omaha Medicare Plans that cover dental.
Take care of your gums
Job number one in keeping your teeth in order starts with the gums. As we get older, it is one of those areas where we need to focus and commonly gets neglected. As a result, many seniors end up with sensitive gums that can often bleed and become infected.
There are a number of ways to keep them healthy, however.
It should go without saying that you have to floss and brush twice per day to keep your gums healthy. Make sure you are using a soft bristle brush to not damage your gums and flossing will prevent any food from infecting your gums.
Cutting down on sugar is essential to maintain healthy gums so avoid sugary treats. Even fast food should be avoided as it has a lot of sugar in it.
Try to add foods to your diet that improve your gum health. Black and green tea both help keep bacteria from building up in the mouth so your gums stay disinfected. Chewing sugar free gum will help increase saliva which also keeps your mouth healthy.
After every meal, make sure to use a mouthwash to kill any bacteria that remain.
Take care of dentures
If your teeth are long gone, you do still need to take care of your oral health starting with your dentures.
Dentures do really well at trapping food so you need to be very diligent in cleaning them off. First make sure to rinse them well to get any stuck on food removed.
Then clean your mouth. Use a soft bristle brush and gently brush your gums with a fluoride toothpaste. Make sure to not only brush away any bacteria or food, but also the adhesive that keeps your dentures in place.
After you’ve finished your mouth, brush your dentures thoroughly and then soak them overnight in water or a mild denture cleaning solution.
Visit your dentist regularly
You should be seeing your dentist at least once a year for a regular checkup and teeth cleaning. If you don’t go regularly then you may be dealing with poor teeth and not even realize it.
Your dentist will be able to make sure that you are doing your dental care routine correctly and that your teeth are in good shape. Anything that looks out of the ordinary will be quickly taken care of and a path set out for you to follow to keep it that way.
To make sure you are getting the most out of your twilight years, your teeth will need to play a big part. If they are in bad shape it will directly impact the quality of your life.
Take care of your teeth and they will take care of you!