Dental Care For The Elderly In Long-Term Care

Nursing home dental services play an important role in ensuring the elderly get quality dental services. Dental care health is very important because mouth problems and dental diseases are common in the homebound population and nursing homes. You may have noticed that a lot of people you care for have issues with their mouths.

The mouth is the mirror of disease and health

The mouth is known as the mirror of disease and health because there you will find microbial infections, signs of systemic diseases, and nutritional deficiencies. You can see a lot of things in the mouth.

Benefits of dental health to the overall wellbeing

Poor dental health can worsen other problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, pneumonia and malnutrition. General health and oral health shouldn’t be thought of as separate things. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, malnutrition, and pneumonia are common diseases in a lot of patients you care for. Bad oral health can make these issues worse because of the increased mouth bacteria that spread to other body systems.

Infections in the mouth can cause infections in other body parts. Because of their compromised medical health, seniors in long-term care facilities are at risk for infections. Good oral health is very important and contributes to keeping the older population as healthy as possible.

Consequences of poor oral health

Poor oral health has a lot of consequences and that is why a mobile dental clinic is essential for providing services to nursing homes. Poor oral health can lead to decreased social interaction, poor self-esteem, problems with sleeping, problems with eating, and problems with speech and mouth pain.

Dental health isn’t only related to physical health but is also related to quality of life and well-being. The consequences of bad oral health can alter the way someone acts and how someone lives. Imagine a person with ugly teeth. They may not feel confident about the way they look. They feel people are avoiding them. They do not want to interact with other people or smile at people because they have low self-esteem. Imagine someone with dental pain and not being able to sleep or eat.

Common dental issues seen in long-term care

Some of the most common dental problems seen in long-term care include dental cavities, gum disease, sores in the mouth, little saliva and ill-fitting dentures. A lot of people you care for may have dry mouths.

Dry mouth

This is not a normal part of aging as some people would believe. A lot of common medications reduce saliva production. A lot of people you care for take medications that can cause dry mouth. A dry mouth increases the risk of gum disease, dental cavities and infection. It can also make it hard to swallow, speak, taste or speak. If someone you care for complains of this problem then you should offer them water periodically. Some people benefit from sucking sugarless candy when suffering from dry mouth. Nursing home dental services may prescribe artificial saliva for people suffering from dry mouth.

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