From the age of 65 on, an estimated 96% of older adults have at least one cavity. Around one out of five older adults have untreated tooth decay and 17% have lost all of their teeth. This is concerning as improper oral care can lead to infections and gum disease. If your mom isn’t regularly seeing a dentist, she needs to go. She also needs to make sure she’s regularly brushing and flossing her teeth. Personal care at home can help her with her daily oral care routine and educate her on what she needs to know about gum disease.
Overall Health and Personal Habits Can Increase the Risk of Gum Disease
Some health issues and personal habits increase your risk of developing gum disease. Smoking is one of them. It’s also more common in people with a weakened immune system, diabetes, or improper oral care habits.
If your mom isn’t brushing her teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day, she’s not doing enough to care for her teeth. She also needs to make a dentist appointment twice a year for cleanings and oral health exams. During a cleaning, the hygienist will take measurements of the gums to check for early gum disease.
Missing Teeth Impact Diet
Your mom may not think tooth loss is that big a deal. It is as it impacts what she’s able to eat. Without some teeth, chewing hard items like raw vegetables or some meats is difficult. She’ll end up needing a diet of soft foods, and that can be detrimental to her diet.
Gum Disease Treatments Can Be Extensive
When gum disease becomes severe, it can lead to bone loss. Teeth become loose and fall out. Surgical treatments such as bone grafts and pocket reduction surgeries may be necessary. If this happens, your mom will need to see her periodontist frequently. She’ll need to have her gums reattached and the tissue needs to regenerate.
Gum Disease Has No Cure
There’s no cure for gum disease. Preventative care is the only option to keep it from worsening. Management of your mom’s oral health care needs is the best way to prevent problems like tooth loss or infection. She needs to brush her teeth, see her dentist, follow her dentist’s recommendations, and avoid processed, sugary foods.
If your mom has a harder time brushing and flossing her teeth due to arthritis pain or joint stiffness, you can help her by arranging personal care at home. Caregivers can help her with her oral care routines and make sure brushing and flossing routines are kept up each day.
Learn more about personal care at home by talking to a specialist. You’ll find that oral care assistance is just one small part of the benefits gained with the help of a caregiver.
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