While easy and relatively quick actions can reduce the severity of oral health issues developing over time, they are some of the most challenging activities to consistently attend to in many managed care settings.
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.
"Teri does well in school, however, is a social butterfly," numerous teachers commented on my report cards while I was growing up. My 10-year-old's reasoning was: "That's a bad thing?"