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Important Facts about Oral Care for the Elderly

Did you know that poor oral care can dramatically impact a senior’s overall health? Poor oral health has been linked to more serious conditions such as heart disease and stroke. Oral diseases such as gingivitis can also lead to oral and pharyngeal cancers. If you provide care for an aging parent or loved one, it is of the utmost importance to establish an oral care routine, not only to protect teeth and gums, but to ensure all around health.

Common Causes for Poor Oral Health

Aging Americans grew up in a time when the use of fluoride was not yet common. Dental health experts believe this is one of the key reasons why so many of today’s seniors have decaying teeth and struggle oral care. In fact, about 25 percent of seniors aged 60 and over have none of their original teeth left.

Another cause for poor oral health among seniors is medications. Medications are known to decrease salvia production, one of the most common reasons for tooth decay. Saliva has antimicrobial abilities and minerals that rebuild tooth enamel and without it, teeth are at higher risk of decay and disease. With the average elderly adult taking more than eight different medications a day, it’s easy to understand why many seniors are coping with unhealthy teeth.

Why Oral Care is Frequently Overlooked

There are many reasons why a senior may not take the time to maintain their teeth. One of the most common is declining physical health, which can make the activity of brushing or flossing difficult or impossible to perform. For seniors who live on their own, lack of transportation and insurance may also keep them from visiting their dentist for regular check-ups.

If you notice that your loved one may be falling behind on their oral care, offer assistance whether it’s providing them with the items they need to properly care for their teeth or transportation and accompaniment to dentist appointments. If you are unable to assist on a regular basis, consider help from professional caregiver in Annapolis who can help with personal care such as brushing and flossing and can also provide reliable transportation to and from dental appointments. Click here to see what else professional caregivers from Home Care Assistance can do for your loved one.

Many family caregivers overlook oral care because they believe that changes in health are a normal part of the aging process. However, getting your loved one the proper dental care and assistance that he or she needs can go a long way in preserving their health and wellness.

For more information about senior care, visit our website at or contact a Care Manager directly at 443-302-2771. We are available 24/7 to answer questions and can help you create a tailored care plan that promotes your loved one’s safety, health and quality of life.