Protecting your Teeth as you Age

San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA

According to the American Dental Association, a fifth of adults ages 75 years and older have not seen a dentist in at least five years. While this may not seem all that bad, taking care of your teeth as you age is just as important as doing so when you are young.

Research now tells us that gum disease releases bacteria into the bloodstream, which in turn results in chronic inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation can increase one’s risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cognitive decline or dementia. While seeking dental care in the elder years may be difficult due to lack of dental insurance, it still should be a top priority.

Many older patients avoid going to the dentist either because of fear, or years of neglect. Others may avoid trips to the dentist because of lack of insurance or the ability to pay for treatments out of pocket. Sometimes, cognitive impairment may hinder their ability to receive a thorough exam. While some individuals are not able to get to the dentist due to mobility issues. Since many seniors develop arthritis and have a history of strokes, they may be unable to brush their teeth properly or at all, which means they are more prone to developing tooth decay, gum disease, and pain.

With aging adults, poor oral care is two-fold. If they are not able to take care of their teeth, they have an increased risk of chronic, life-threatening diseases. On the flip side of that, certain medical conditions have left them unable to care for their oral health. It can be quite a predicament for our aging adults.

If you are an aging adult and are able to manage your own oral care, be sure that you thoroughly brush your teeth twice per day, and floss daily. Also, visit your local San Francisco dentist at Glen Park Dental at least twice per year, or more if recommended. Not only are you protecting your oral health, but your overall health as well.

Maybe you take care of an aging loved one, or your loved one is in the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility. Check with management to verify whether your loved one is receiving the necessary dental care that they need. It can be difficult to see someone who has taken good care of their oral health their entire life, experience significant oral health problems within six to eight months of neglecting their teeth.

It does not take long for an aging adult to suffer consequences of neglecting their oral health. Help protect your oral health, and your health as you age, by maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist twice per year.

Dental Treatments in the Bay Area

To learn more about ways to protect your teeth as you age, contact Glen Park Dental by calling (415) 585-1500 to schedule a consultation. We welcome patients of all ages from Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California.

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