Why is oral health in older adults important?

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Oral health is important at any age; however older adults sometimes need to pay extra attention to their oral hygiene, particularly if they suffer from periodontal disease or have lost teeth or have dentures.

The bottom line is that the healthier your mouth and gums are, the more likely you are to be healthy overall. Your mouth can sometimes show the first signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Systemic diseases, those that affect the entire body, may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems although there is no conclusive research showing that severe gum disease raises a risk of heart disease.

Preventive measures are the best defense. Always remember to brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste, clean between your teeth once a day with floss and eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. Don't forget to schedule regular dental check-ups to keep your smile, and yourself, healthy.
Anne Fabiny
Geriatric Medicine
Good dental care is essential for older adults, but is often neglected. Oral health problems can affect overall health, so regular dental checkups and professional cleanings are important. So is flossing, proper brushing of teeth and tongue, and regular denture cleansing. Rinsing twice daily with antiseptic mouthwash may help reduce plaque buildup and gum inflammation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.