The importance of oral health as you age

The importance of oral health as you age

New research shows a link between poor oral health and frailty in old age.

We have known for a while that there is an important connection between oral health and overall wellbeing. Now, a new study has revealed that there is a link between poor oral health and health problems that occur later in life. According to the study, issues like impaired mobility, muscular weakness and unhealthy weight loss are all more likely to affect elderly individuals who suffer from oral health problems.

What did the study look at?

The study, which was published in the Journal of Gerondontology, had a look at a large number of elderly hospital patients over a period of six months and found that the frailest of the patients were more likely to feel dissatisfied with the overall condition and appearance of their teeth, gums or dentures.

What did the study find?

According to the researchers, frailty is very often associated with oral health issues like tooth sensitivity, difficulty with biting and chewing, and even speech problems. As individuals become frailer, mobility is limited, making it more difficult to practice good oral hygiene, like regular brushing and flossing.

What can be done?

The findings of the study highlight a need for more effective oral health care to be made accessible for elderly patients. Dental services should be a priority in facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes. Education surrounding oral health is also key — it is important that those who care for the elderly are informed about the importance of oral health and are trained appropriately.

The findings of the study also highlight the importance of establishing good oral hygiene habits early in life. Regular dental check-ups can go a long way in maintaining good oral health, and often prevent the development of serious issues occurring at a later stage. We recommend that you come in and see us every six months so that any issues can be identified and treated as soon as possible. Each time you come in for an oral examination, your dentist will check the state of your teeth and gums and if necessary, recommend a treatment plan tailored specifically to your needs.

A good oral health routine is also key when it comes to maintaining healthy teeth and gums in the long-term. When you come in and see us, we will be happy to answer any questions you might have about your oral hygiene. To maintain good oral health, we recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, paying particular attention to the area between the teeth and gums, as this is where bacteria and plaque tend to accumulate. We also encourage our patients to floss every day, as this is the most effective way of removing plaque from hard-to-reach places where it is not possible to reach with a toothbrush. If you have children, you can start to floss their teeth from as early as two years old.

For some tips on brushing and flossing correctly, take a look at our oral health routine page.

Are you ready to make an appointment for a check-up? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We offer a comprehensive range of professional oral health services, and focus on providing high quality oral health care for the whole family. In fact, we cater for people of all ages, including children, teenagers, adults and the elderly. Our practice is even equipped for people who require wheelchair access and for patients with special needs.

We look forward to welcoming you to our practice, which is located in Rosalie. To have a look at our location, please take a look here.

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