The Importance Of Dental Health For Senior Citizens
The importance of observing dental hygiene stretches beyond just a smile.
As teeth are one of the busiest organs of the human body, they need to be taken care of with utmost priority. Our recklessness often neglects our oral health (dental health) in eating habits and hygiene routines. Our overall well-being is dependent upon our dental hygiene. A single shred of bacteria can set our whole body in pain and jeopardy as many organs get affected by the bacteria deposits in our teeth.
The matter of dental health includes the overall condition of our gums, salivary glands, lips, tongue, ligaments, and mouth tissues, and chewing muscles. It means being free of ceaseless oral-facial torment conditions, oral and pharyngeal (throat) tumors, oral delicate tissue injuries, and craniofacial tissues, all in all, known as the craniofacial complex.
Dental care is neglected at a very early age, due to which the dental health deteriorates on the arrival of adulthood and mostly in old age. Today, many senior citizens in the US are facing oral health-related problems that affect their overall health. There are ample medical outlets that provide dental care for senior citizens at cost or free throughout the country.
Importance of Dental Health
More often than youngsters, senior citizens fall into the trap of oral health malfunctioning. This is because, after retirement, they find it difficult and unnecessary to avail themselves of dental care facilities and checkups. Secondly, they often have inadequate and unbalanced appetites due to soreness, and tooth loss is inevitable. This minor health negligence can be a driving force behind many other chronic dental and overall health issues.
Good dental health influences the overall health and well-being of a person. Painful cavities and bleeding gums are signs of deteriorating dental and overall health. Children need to be guided about the significance of oral hygiene so that they do not face chronic tooth decay or tooth loss at the slight onset of old age from an early age. Recent reports indicate a relationship between strokes, cardiovascular diseases, breathing problems, and periodontal diseases with dental health.
The tooth diseases start at the onset of plaques, which accumulate in the teeth if they are not cleaned properly. This gives birth to bacteria that can be harmful to the whole body’s functioning, as this bacteria runs through the bloodstream to different organs of the body such as the heart or lungs. This bacterium becomes a hard base gathered at the base of teeth, inflaming the gums and causing painful swelling and bleeding. Daily brushing is necessary for oral hygiene; otherwise, these bacteria thicken into black substances such as tartar and cause multiple infections.
Another reason why you should take care of teeth is because it can cause cavities in the mouth, resulting in holes in the tooth structure. Cavities can rot the teeth at an early age; thus, one entirely becomes toothless by old age. So, if you want to possess some teeth as you age, the observance of dental health is a must.
Studies have also indicated a link between diabetes and tooth infections. Diabetic conditions are more vulnerable to tooth decay, gum infections, and cavities. This further puts a person’s overall health at risk.
Some tips to enhance your Dental Health
- It is advisable to brush your teeth twice every day with nutrient-rich toothpaste, like fluoride-containing toothpaste.
- Flossing can prevent the accumulation of bacteria or any food leftover; thus, it can be done at home or done at a dental clinic.
- The best practice to keep your teeth healthy is to visit the dentist once a week or twice a month. Dental checkups can be very beneficial as the dentist can advise on the onset of any medical condition or provide counseling on preventive measures.
- Diabetic patients must immediately visit the dentist if they feel a slight ache, swelling, or bleeding in the gums.
Facilities by Government
In the US, the government has devised free medical health, dental, and insurance plans for senior government agencies through which clinics, charities, and non-profit organizations offer extensive medical and dental care. These dental and medical care facilities are free of cost and quality assured, with special attention paid to senior citizens’ health.
The senior citizens can apply for government-funded health programs that suit their medical conditions: a renowned government-owned free health and dental organization. Medicare provides assistance in dental care for senior citizens.
The public medical care service is like a free health insurance plan with comprehensive and extensive medical and dental facilities and allowances. The US government founded it in 1965. This program is for senior citizens, youngsters, and other patients with chronic health conditions and disabilities. The senior citizens can enroll in this program and apply for Medicare medical and dental facilities for 50% and above provisions.
Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a database of specialists and doctors who act as consultants. They also assist senior citizens in understanding the importance of medical care, dental health, insurance plans, and billing processes. Many other such plans can be of great assistance to senior citizens.
Apart from this, every county’s dental association can provide accessible dental care facilities, dental checkups, and dental medicines to the enrollees.
Summary: This article sheds light on the importance of dental health for the general health of senior citizens. It also highlights the facilities provided by the US government for the dental care of senior citizens.