Because of poor dental health, many senior citizens are unable to express their happiness through a sweet smile. Poor dental hygiene is common among the elderly staying in nursing homes and hospitals because of inadequate dental care. There are side-effects of over-the-counter and prescription drugs among elderly such as dry mouth which can reduce the saliva production, thus creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Tooth loss, gum disease, and tooth decay significantly affect the well-being and health of senior citizens. Studies show that the occurrence of heart disease and diabetes are linked to poor dental hygiene.
Basic dental care is important to improve the dental health of the elderly. It is important for senior citizens to brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once daily. Healthcare professionals must be keen and attentive in watching out the signs and symptoms of serious oral conditions for prompt intervention, and keep the elderly reminded and aware of the importance good oral hygiene. Caregivers can give the patient a favorite item or toy or allow to listen to a relaxing music to calm seniors while doing a dental cleaning. A Velcro strap or rubber band can be used for holding toothbrush for easy grasp and usage. When it comes to oral health problems, seniors are at higher risks to develop oral health problems like dry mouth, diminished sense of taste, uneven jawbone, darkened teeth, tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, dental-induced stomatitis, and oral thrush. Aside from drugs or medications, certain medical conditions like arthritis of the fingers and hands can make flossing or toothbrushing difficult to perform. If the senior citizen is wearing dentures of other appliances, it is important to teach them how to take … Read More ...Continue reading »