I help care for my elderly parents, and believe they have dental problems -- what should I do?
More and more, this is a major concern, one that I'm going through myself. Seniors often feel they need less care as they get older, but now more than ever, greater emphasis needs to be given on prevention and regular visits. Dentists all too often see advanced breakdown and dysfunction, leading to more complex treatment needs and expense. As we all get older, our saliva's consistency, flow and chemical make-up often changes adversely, and combined with syndromes, disease and medications, can greatly damage the teeth and gums. Dexterity, diet and dementia also play a large role in a person's personal oral hygiene abilities.
We see increased cavities, gum disease, infection and lost teeth in this age group, resulting in less function, less enjoyment of eating, and lessened overall health because of it.
This is why, when we are still fairly healthy, dentists stress great oral hygiene techniques, a good diet avoiding acid and sugar, and regular visits. For seniors in assisted living and nursing home, etc., it is very important to have talks about dental health with all the caregivers involved, and their M.D.'s.
Regular preventive care is a great continuing investment for your present and future health. Here at White Bear Smiles, we take special pride in our ability to serve Seniors well!