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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. As the mouth is the entryway to our internal organs, well-being depends on 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 topic of dental health includes the overall condition of our gums, salivary glands, lips, tongue, ligaments, 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.
Today, many senior citizens in the US face oral health-related problems that affect their overall health. The arrival of adulthood and old age will exacerbate preexisting issues. Neglected dental care from an early age continues to deteriorate as we age. The good news is that ample medical outlets 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. After retirement, they find it difficult and unnecessary to avail themselves of dental care facilities and checkups. They also 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 wellbeing of a person. Recent reports indicate a relationship between strokes, cardiovascular diseases, breathing problems, and periodontal diseases with dental health. Painful cavities and bleeding gums are signs of deteriorating dental and overall health. Children need to be taught about the significance of oral hygiene so they do not face chronic tooth decay or tooth loss at the slight onset of old age from an early age.
The tooth diseases start at the onset of plaque, accumulating in the teeth if they are not properly cleaned. 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 rigid base gathered at the bottom 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 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. Persons with 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 at least twice per year, every six months. 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
The government has devised free medical health, dental, and insurance plans for seniors through local clinics, charities, and non-profit organizations offering extensive medical and dental care in the US. These dental and medical care facilities are free of cost and quality assured, with particular attention paid to senior citizens’ health. Medicare assists in dental care for senior citizens.
Medicaid is a public medical care service 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. 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 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 the dental care of senior citizens.
Stone Eagle Financial, LLC
10268 W. Centennial Rd.
Littleton, Colorado 80127
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