Getting Older is A Rough Road, What You Can Do To Make It Smooth
What do good health and good oral health have in common? Before answering that question, what is the connection between senior health and oral health? If you answer “everything,” you have the best answer for both questions.
It’s no surprise that our senior population is exploding at an astounding rate. When all of our healthcare systems are in place to treat the consequences of this growth, we can be confident that our aging population has access to everything needed to guarantee health and safety.
Regrettably, depleted resources and lack of mobility often make it impossible to understand everything necessary to maintain good health. One excellent example of this under-education combined with over-demand is the direct connection between aging and compromised oral health.
The physical and emotional conditions of the seniors, combined with the medications used to treat the diseases they most often suffer, seriously impact oral health. We see the declining state of teeth, gum disease, dry mouth, oral infections and oral cancers. With these problems come the predisposition to conditions like heart and respiratory diseases.
The consequences of compromised routine oral hygiene, mobility restrictions and cognitive impairment are often decay and tooth loss. Patients suffer from a physical inability to maintain regular oral care, allowing bacteria to proliferate and tooth loss to ensue. Diseases such as Parkinson’s make it physically challenging to brush, and those patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s simply forget to do so.
Gingivitis and periodontal disease can be caused by memory loss and reduced physical capabilities. Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss. Untreated gum disease often leads to the destruction of the bones and gums.
Many drugs commonly associated with the diseases prevalent in senior populations result in dry mouth. This uncomfortable condition leads to halitosis (chronic bad breath), gum disease and oral infections. While these diagnoses aren’t unique to seniors, they are more susceptible than any other demographic because of the number of medications that promote dry mouth.
Seniors are also susceptible to oral infections and ulcerations. Tissues become more sensitive with age, lending themselves to abrasions, sharp teeth and dentures, certain foods, brushing or bruising. With infections come incidences of pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
Many other factors can harm oral health. These include diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis that will make brushing difficult due to compromised manual abilities. Thyroid deficiencies and depression will reduce energy and motivation to maintain oral routines. Specific symptoms and conditions can sometimes indicate oral cancer, a disease frequently found in older patients.
While physicians and nursing professionals have often delivered care within the home setting, a lack of familiarity with the most significant symptoms of many oral diseases creates a failure to diagnose them. As a result, the combination of numerous medications, frequent suspension of oral hygiene and difficulty securing routine dental care has put the senior population at risk.
Understanding the best methods for solving these problems has resulted in home-based, thorough dental and denture care. Karen at Roving Dental Hygiene has introduced and successfully launched a program for ongoing, effective dental care completed within the home or residential care setting.
Processes are the same as those conducted within the traditional clinical setting, with one major exception. Patients are treated where they are most comfortable, in their homes. Karen is trained and practicing in treating the unique needs of the senior population. She attends to the needs of these patients in a caring, understanding, and conscious of their priorities.
Initiating in-home care is straightforward. Call Roving Dental Hygiene to schedule a visit in your home (the patient’s home) or residential care setting. They will minimize disruption to your space, bringing everything needed for efficient set-up and removal. You do not need to travel, transport or experience the anxiety of visiting a dental office.
Eliminating inconvenience and promoting ongoing oral health is now available to the population that needs these advantages. Patients who have accessed this type of service consistently report happiness with this type of care while emphasizing that its convenience consistently exceeds expectations. When you can promote good health while staying home, doesn’t it make sense to do so?