Since dental care diseases are common in the homebound population and nursing homes, nursing home dental services are very necessary. You may have noticed that a lot of people you care for have dental problems.
The mouth is a mirror of disease and health
The mouth is known as the mirror of disease and health because there you will find microbial infections, signs of systemic diseases, and nutritional deficiencies. All these can be seen through the mouth.
Benefits of dental health to the overall well-being and health
General health and oral health shouldn’t be thought of as separate things. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, malnutrition, and pneumonia are some of the most common conditions in some patients you care for. Poor dental care can make these problems worse because of the increased bad bacteria in the mouth that can easily spread to other parts of the body.
Infections in the mouth can cause infections in other parts of the body. Older adults have compromised medical health and this means that they are at a higher risk for infections. Good oral health is very important and it contributes to keeping the elderly as healthy as possible.
In addition to being related to physical health, dental health is also related to the quality of life and overall well-being. The consequences of bad oral health can alter the way someone acts and how they live. Imagine someone with ugly appearing dentures or teeth. They will not feel as good as they would feel with proper teeth. For this reason, nursing home dental care is very important. People with ugly dentures or teeth do not like to interact with others or smile since they have low self-esteem. Imagine someone with a lot of dental pain and not being able to sleep or eat.
Common dental problems
The most common dental problems are dental cavities, gum disease, mouth sores, little saliva and badly fitting dentures. Let us talk about dry mouth because a lot of people you care for may be suffering from this problem.
The problem of dry mouth
Xerostomia or dry mouth should not be considered a normal part of aging. A lot of common medications reduce saliva production. A lot of people you care for are taking these medications and end up suffering from dry mouth. People suffering from dry mouth have an increased risk of infection and gum disease. Dry mouth can make it hard to swallow, eat, speak, taste and causes dentures to not fit. If someone you care for complains of dry mouth then the best thing to do is to offer them water periodically throughout the day. Some people will benefit from sucking hard sugarless candy. A dentist may also prescribe artificial saliva.
What is plaque?
Plaque is the most common and serious dental health problem that nursing home dental services should look into. Plaque begins as a sticky and soft film of bacteria from sweets and food that form on the dentures or teeth. Over time, it becomes rock hard and it can cause dental cavities, respiratory diseases, and gum disease.
Nursing home dental services are crucial to maintain the health and wellbeing of an aged population.