One of the great things about retirement is having more time to do the things you enjoy. But something you should never retire is your oral health care routine. In fact, it’s best to make oral health a priority in retirement because some issues become more prevalent with age.
Take a look at some of the common problems you can run into:
• Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a major cause of tooth loss in older adults.
• Diabetes is a growing problem among older people, and those with diabetes may be more susceptible to periodontal disease.
• Older adults have more systemic illnesses in general, and as a result, often take medications that cause dry mouth. Over time, dry mouth can lead to increased cavities and mouth infections.
• Age also increases the risk of developing oral cancer.
Fortunately, gum disease, tooth decay and oral cancer are largely preventable. One of the best things you can do is spend time each day taking care of your oral and overall health by practicing good oral hygiene at home, avoiding tobacco and eating a healthy diet.
Additionally, regular dental visits are essential for keeping your mouth healthy. If you’re in the habit of waiting to go to the dentist until you have a problem, rethink your strategy. Preventive care is relatively low-cost and can identify problems early before they require costly treatment. Keeping up with routine cleanings and exams is one of the best ways to control costs. To learn how to help manage oral health expenses, check out our article on dental benefits in retirement.
More than ever, older adults are keeping most of their teeth for a lifetime. By taking the right steps, you can, too!