How Oral Health Affects Senior Health

October 14, 2018
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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Studies suggest there are more bacteria in our mouths than there are people on the earth – and how well we care for our mouths, teeth, and gums can have a drastic effect on our overall health. Poor hygiene can lead to more serious problems than bad breath and cavities, especially as we age.

5 Senior Health Issues Caused By Bad Oral Health

Take a look at how your oral health may affect, be affected by, or may contribute to the following health conditions, increasing the importance of knowledge and proper dental care:

1. Cardiovascular Disease

Research suggests that inflammation and infections caused by oral bacteria may be linked to certain heart conditions.

2. Diabetes

Individuals with diabetes have a higher risk of developing gum disease, partially because they are more susceptible to infection and have a decreased ability to fight bacteria in the gums. Research also suggests that serious gum disease may affect blood glucose, potentially contributing to the progression of diabetes in otherwise healthy individuals.

3. Alzheimer’s Disease

Some studies have found that people with poor oral hygiene may be at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia – suggesting bacteria entering the brain may cause cognitive dysfunction.

4. Endocarditis

Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of the heart that occurs when bacteria & other germs from another part of the body (often the mouth) travel through the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in the heart.

5. Oral Cancer

Over 50,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, often caused by lifestyle choices (alcohol consumption, smoking, etc.), poor dental hygiene, and genetics.

To protect yourself and your loved ones, be sure to practice healthy oral hygiene, brushing your teeth (including dentures) at least twice per day, flossing daily, replacing your toothbrush every few months, and visiting the dentist regularly.

Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Care Services

At Care Options for Kids, we understand the value of good health & hygiene and the importance of scheduling regular medical checkups. We refer knowledgeable and loving caregivers to provide a wide range of services, from transportation to and from appointments, to personal grooming and nursing care inside the home.

Contact us directly to speak with a home health care professional or Request a Free In-Home Consultation. Together, we can determine the right plan of action for your family.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home health care services, contact the caring staff at Care Options for Kids today. (888) 592-5855.


American Heart Association