Healthy aging includes good oral health
The number of older adults retaining their original teeth has increased steadily since the 1970s, and that trend is likely to continue with broader access to fluoridated tap water, advances in dentistry and a greater understanding of the role oral health plays in influencing overall health and wellbeing. That is why ensuring seniors get routine and preventive oral health care is more important than ever.
Older adults are more likely to take prescription and over-the-counter medications that can cause dry mouth and experience chronic ailments like diabetes that can affect gum health and worsen oral health. Unfortunately, this also comes at a time when adults ages 65 and older lose coverage through workplace insurance plans once they retire. Medicare does not include routine dental care, forcing many older adults to pay out of pocket for vital care or forego care altogether.
Oral Health Watch supports efforts to expand dental care access for senior citizens and raise public awareness of the importance of maintaining good oral health in retirement. Programs that promote collaboration among health care professionals like dentists, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, home care providers and nursing home aides can help address oral health concerns before they become more serious or impact overall health. Providing older adults access to essential dental care improves overall health and quality of life.
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