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Home Care: 5 Facts to Know About Older Adults and Gum Disease

Home Care: February 9th is National Toothache Day. Did you know that 70% of older adults have gum disease or tooth decay?

Home Care: February 9th is National Toothache Day.

Did you know that 70% of older adults have gum disease or tooth decay? Here are five facts you and your home care provider must know about oral health in older adults.


Home Care in Paradise Valley AZ: Gum Disease
Home Care in Paradise Valley AZ: Gum Disease

Smoking Increases the Risk of Gum Disease

Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your teeth. Smoking reduces immune system function, making it harder for the body to fight an infection in the gums. It also slows down the healing process. Encourage your mom or dad to quit.


Poor Oral Health Can Make It Hard to Eat

If your mom or dad isn’t eating much, check their teeth. Tooth decay can lead to pain that makes it hard to chew. If they have dentures, look to make sure they fit correctly. If they rub or create sores, it’s a problem. Serve softer foods until you can get your parent to a dentist for treatment.


Tooth Loss is More Common in People With Chronic Disease

The risk of tooth loss is 50% higher in people with one of seven chronic diseases. They include asthma, diabetes, emphysema, heart disease, liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or stroke. If your parent has one of these diseases, dental visits need to occur more often.

Diet Can Increase the Risk of a Toothache

Sugary foods can increase the risk of tooth decay. Cavities develop, and over time they can cause severe decay that can lead to tooth loss. Avoid sugary drinks, candies, and items that contain honey, corn syrup, and fructose. Brush your teeth soon after having something sweet.


Regular Oral Care Is Key to Avoiding Gum Disease

Going for regular dental check-ups and cleanings is important. It’s not the only way to reduce the risk of tooth decay or gum disease. Your parents need to brush their teeth after meals and floss at least once daily.

One of the reasons that gum disease is prevalent in older adults is that arthritis pain makes it hard to floss between the teeth. Holding a toothbrush is also problematic. It may be time to arrange to have a home care aide to help with oral hygiene.

Keep up with oral care by making sure your parents have home care services. If arthritis makes it hard for your mom or dad to brush and floss their teeth, home care aides ensure they don’t skip it. Caregivers will help them keep their teeth and gums healthy.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Paradise Valley, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Resources at (602) 443-4700



Jack Coito

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