When it comes to the condition of your teeth and gums, prevention is paramount. That’s why visiting the dentist every six months for a dental checkup and cleaning is essential, no matter how good your at-home oral hygiene regimen is. Seniors, however, are especially vulnerable to dental issues, like tooth loss and gum disease. If you have a loved one in independent living, here are three reasons it is important to make sure they receive routine dental care.
#1: Catch Dental Issues in the Early Stages
Unfortunately, many patients view their bi-yearly visits to the dentist as optional. In reality, these visits do much more than just detect cavities. In fact, the examination portion of the appointment is dedicated to looking for early signs of gum disease, detecting non-dental issues (like oral cancer), and taking X-rays that catch issues that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Plus, the special instruments used in the teeth cleaning can ward off decay, clean the hard-to-reach areas of the mouth, and remove caked-on plaque and tartar (all of which are essential at preventing issues in the future).
#2. The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Wellbeing
A neglected infection is always dangerous. However, since the mouth is the entryway to the digestive tract and is close to the brain, untreated concerns, like gum disease, are especially risky. In fact, patients with gingivitis are significantly more likely to experience a cardiovascular event. Plus, the harmful bacteria associated with this condition can easily travel to other major organs through the bloodstream, causing additional complications. To prevent that from happening, it’s essential your loved one is visiting the dentist at least every six months.
#3. Address Tooth Loss Directly
Did you know that over 27% of adults over the age of 65 have no remaining teeth? Not only can this take a toll on the look of a patient’s smile, but it can also make it difficult to chew pain-free and enunciate clearly. Routine visits to the dentist can address problems like these head-on with everything from dental bridges and modern dentures to state-of-the-art dental implants.
If you have a loved one in independent living, then keeping their oral and overall health in good condition is a top priority. If you have any questions about senior oral health in Jacksonville, don’t hesitate to reach out to their dentist!
About the Author
For over four decades, Dr. James L. Schumacher has been helping patients of all ages in the Jacksonville community achieve pristine oral health and beautiful smiles. To stay at the forefront of his field and provide exemplary care to those in his treatment chair, he continues to pursue continuing education at some of the nation’s most prestigious organizations, like the L.D. Pankey Institute. His impressive accomplishments and genuine care have not gone unnoticed either; he has been featured in Jacksonville Magazine’s TOP Dentists since 2013! To learn more about his practice or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or give him a call at 904-388-3559.