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Keeping a Senior’s Teeth and Gums Healthy

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Research has frequently linked good oral health with overall positive health outcomes. Since seniors are more vulnerable to infection and other medical conditions, oral hygiene is especially important for this age group. To help your senior loved one maintain healthy teeth and gums, follow these tips.

Encourage Good Hygiene Habits

Brushing and flossing become even more important as people age. This is because oral infections such as gingivitis have been linked to serious health concerns like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Some doctors call the mouth “the gateway to the body” because it is where many medical issues begin. Daily oral hygiene can be one of the best ways to guard your loved one’s overall health, and hiring an hourly caregiver in Prescott can help ensure a routine is maintained.

Schedule Regular Checkups at the Dentist

Some older people are prone to dental issues that can develop rapidly, including receding gums. Getting at least two checkups per year can help ensure these issues are caught before they become a serious problem for your loved one. Most dentists also conduct examinations for oral cancer, which occurs in the elderly at a higher than average rate. Proactive screening can help detect problems early, making successful treatment more likely.

Provide Calcium Supplements

Seniors may develop bone loss as they age, including the bones in the face and jaw. The risk of this complication increases if they smoked during their earlier years. The decline in bone density can put your loved one at further risk for tooth loss and fracturing. By adding calcium supplements to his or her diet, the loss of bone density can be slowed or halted, leading to better oral health.

Prevent Dry Mouth

Many seniors have issues with dry mouth due to medications often prescribed for their age group. In turn, dry mouth can lead to higher incidents of cavities. If your loved one has this issue, consider providing him or her with rinses designed to increase saliva production and also consult with his or her physician about adjusting medications. Some seniors also chew gum to help with saliva production.

Though it may take some effort to get your loved one into a regular dental hygiene routine, his or her healthy smile will make it all worthwhile. With the help of a professional in-home caregiver, your loved one’s teeth and gums may have an even better chance of staying healthy. For elderly home care Prescott families trust, turn to Home Care Assistance. In addition to helping your loved one with oral hygiene, our caregivers can assist with cooking, cleaning, exercise, and transportation. For more information on our senior care services, call an experienced Care Manager at 928-771-0105 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.