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 oral health (dental health) is often neglected by our recklessness in eating habits and hygiene routines. Our overall wellbeing 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
Senior citizens, more often than youngsters, fall in the trap of oral health’s malfunctioning. This is because, after retirement, they find it difficult and unnecessary to avail dental care facilities and checkups. Secondly, they often have inadequate and unbalanced appetite due to which 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 wellbeing of a person. Painful cavities and bleeding gums are signs of deteriorating dental and overall health. From an early age, children need to be guided about the significance of oral hygiene so that they do not face chronic tooth decays or tooth loss at the slight onset of old age. According to recent reports, a relationship between strokes, cardiovascular diseases, breathing problems and periodontal diseases with the dental health has been indicated.
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 functioning of the whole body; as this bacteria runs through the bloodstream to different organs of the body such as heart or lungs. This bacterium becomes a hard base gathered at the base of teeth, which starts inflaming the gums and causes 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 as to why you should take care of teeth is that it can cause cavities in the mouth, resulting in holes in the teeth structure. Cavities can rot the teeth at the very early age, thus by old age, one completely becomes toothless. So, if you want to possess some teeth as you age, the observance of dental health is a must.
Studies have also indicated that there is a linkage between diabetes and tooth infections. With diabetic conditions are more vulnerable to undergo tooth decays, 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 accumulation of bacteria or any food leftover, thus it can be done at home or done at 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 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 facilitates are not just free of cost, but also 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 just like free health insurance plan with comprehensive and extensive medical and dental facilities and allowances. It was founded by the US government in 1965. This program is not only for senior citizens, but also for youngsters and other patients with chronic health conditions and disabilities. The senior citizens can enroll in this program; they can apply for Medicare medical and dental facilities for 50% and above provisions.
Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a database of information where specialists and doctors act as consultants. They also assist senior’s citizens to understand the importance of medical care, dental health and insurance plans along with billing processes. There are many other such plans that can be of great assistance to senior citizens.
Apart from this, there are dental associations of every county that can provide free 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 dental care of senior citizens.