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The Importance Of Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene In Senior Years

Apr 19, 2018 by Jorge Preciado

Investing in a home health aide can help prevent your senior loved one from developing oral cancer

Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we talked to a professional home health aide about the importance of maintaining strong and healthy teeth in golden years. The following reading contains guidelines on how to prevent numerous dental issues and preserve natural teeth for longer.

Some of the most common dental issues that can develop in senior years include the loss of natural teeth, darkened and discolored teeth, dry mouth, diminished taste sense, root decay, gum disease, and uneven jaw. As our home health aide points out, dental issues should not be taken lightly as they can lead to other health conditions. Seniors should be aware that the onset of oral cancer is the most serious health concern that can affect the mouth/face area. Here are the most common signs and symptoms of oral cancer:

  • Loose teeth
  • Problems with chewing and/or swallowing
  • Development of lumps or sores in the mouth/lip/jaw area
  • Unusual jaw swelling
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • White or red tissue patches appearing inside the mouth cavity

To minimize the risk of developing oral cancer and prevent other dental issues they might be susceptible to, it is very important that your senior mom or dad takes good care of their teeth and gums. This can be achieved just by maintaining their usual brushing and flossing routine. If your parent wears dentures, they should remember to clean them frequently. Our professional home health aide also recommends making regular visits to the dentist’s office a priority.

During scheduled visits, a dental practitioner will perform an oral exam to locate any irregularities or impending dental issues. During these exams, a dentist will first ask your loved one about any recent changes or problems with their teeth and then continue to thoroughly inspect their mouth cavity and facial area in order to exclude the possibility of oral cancer. Seniors who wear dentures can also expect a checkup of their prosthetic plate.

Our professional home health aide also suggests that your parent gets a dental cleaning at least twice a year. This painless although slightly uncomfortable procedure helps thoroughly clean all the areas in the mouth and remove harmful plaque and tartar that cause gum disease.

Good oral hygiene habits can help your senior mom or dad prevent numerous dental diseases, reduce the risk of developing oral cancer, and lead a healthier, happier lifestyle. 

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