Presentation on theme: "The Olympic Area Agency on Aging & Washington Dental Service Foundation G ood oral health contributes to good overall physical health."— Presentation transcript:
The Olympic Area Agency on Aging & Washington Dental Service Foundation G ood oral health contributes to good overall physical health
More older adults than ever are aging with their natural teeth. Older adults are at high risk for gum disease and oral cancers. In 2007, only 1 in 5 older adults had a dental visit. Poor oral health can lead to poor overall health. Oral health and older adults….
Without good oral care, older adults are at risk for….. Tooth Decay Gum Disease Chronic Illnesses Dry Mouth Poor Nutrition Denture Problems Oral Cancer
What happens in the mouth is often a reflection of what happens in the body. Poor oral health has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and pneumonia. 4 What happens in the mouth….
Dry mouth…. Too little saliva to keep your mouth wet/clean. Affects 1-3 older adults Common symptoms: a constant sore throat burning sensation problems speaking difficulty swallowing hoarseness or dry nasal passages. Without the cleansing effects of saliva, tooth decay and other oral health problems become more common
Dry mouth—what causes it? More than 400 prescription and over-the-counter medications, including seven of the 10 most frequently prescribed drugs, have dry mouth as a potential side effect. Older adults are particularly prone to dry mouth because they’re more likely to be taking multiple medications, including treatments for high blood pressure, pain, asthma and allergies, and depression and anxiety. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and certain health conditions, including diabetes and Parkinson’s.
Dry mouth—how to manage it Alert your doctor or dentist if your mouth feels dry as a result of a medication. There may be a different drug you can try. For a healthy alternative to candy, use sugarless gum or mints with the natural sweetener xylitol, which protects teeth from decay. Drink extra water & limit drinks with caffeine and alcohol, which can dry out the mouth. Talk to your pharmacist or dentist about saliva substitutes, oral moisturizers & other ideas.
Oral cancer The most common symptom of oral cancer is a sore in the mouth that does not heal. Other symptoms include : A lump in the mouth or throat or on the lip A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, or the lining of the mouth Bleeding, pain, or numbness in the mouth A sore throat that does not go away Difficulty or pain when chewing or swallowing Swelling of the jaw A change (hoarseness) in the voice Pain in the ear
Oral cancer deaths Each year, more than 30,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed. Oral cancers cause over 8,000 deaths every year. The 5-year survival rate for these cancers is only about 50 percent. Reducing tobacco use and excessive alcohol intake are critical in preventing oral cancers. Early detection is key to increasing the survival rate.
Even if a person has no natural teeth, a dental exam once a year is recommended. Call the dentist with any irritated areas in the mouth or mouth sores Dentures should be brushed daily with a soft bristle toothbrush. Dentures or partials will warp or lose shape if allowed to dry out – store in a denture cup with water
Tips for a healthy mouth Even if you don’t enjoy perfect oral health in your later years, there’s a lot you can do to maintain and even improve your oral health. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Use floss or toothpicks to clean between teeth. Get regular dental checkups, even if you have dentures. Limit starchy snacks, sugared candy or cough drops, and sugary drinks. When you do snack, remember to brush your teeth afterward. Even rinsing your mouth with water after snacks can reduce the risk of decay.
More tips for a healthy mouth If you have diabetes, pay extra attention to your oral health. People with diabetes have more gum problems, which can make it harder to control blood sugar. Ask your dentist or doctor about extra fluoride. Fluoride adds extra protection against decay. Check your mouth regularly for sores. If you notice any unusual lumps, bumps, or sores that don’t resolve within two weeks, see your doctor or dentist. Don’t use tobacco. Drink fluoridated water.
Want More Information? On senior oral health: Visit www.seniororalhealth.orgwww.seniororalhealth.org On dental services available in your community: Call Paulette Dodgen at 1-866-582-1486 Visit the O3A website for more information on healthy aging, www.o3a.orgwww.o3a.org