Some people do their best thinking during meditation or yoga. For others it's the shower, or while they're swimming from Cuba to Florida. Personally, some of my deepest, most insightful thoughts have occurred while my mouth is filled with fingers and dental tools.
Oral health problems on track to become as common and serious as falls, incontinence in elderly: reportNovember 14, 2013
Unless steps are taken to improve dental hygiene in the elderly, oral healthcare will cause problems on the same scale as falls, incontinence and mobility limitations, according to recently published research.
A bill introduced in both houses of Congress seeks to expand Medicare coverage for dental services and provide more oral care in long-term care facilities.
A friend who happens to be a dentist once regularly saw nursing home residents. During these calls, he would examine patients and make arrangements for them to visit his dental office, should the need arise. But he stopped doing this about two years ago. Why? The hassle just wasn't worth it.
A lot of things happen when you turn 80: you're officially retired and the dream of competing in the Iron Man triathlon or climbing Mount Everest has faded. But, enjoying each and every meal, eating whatever you want, and smiling ear-to-ear is the one thing that doesn't have to end. Many of my older patients prioritize restoring their teeth as an absolute "must have" to increase their current life satisfaction.
I hear it all the time: "I'm too old; I don't want to fix my teeth." Older patients easily give up on their oral health not realizing the importance of teeth to their overall health. Unfortunately, poor oral health has been linked to serious systemic illnesses, including diabetes, stroke, hypertension, myocardial infarction and aspiration pneumonia.
Many long-term care residents are not provided with acceptable dental care, as oral health is often low on staff's priority list. If more facilities focused on dental care, they would find that it is not an extreme burden to focus some efforts on simple oral hygiene.
Poor dental hygiene habits are tied to an increased risk for developing dementia in older age, a new study found.