With the right preventive and therapeutic care, most people can care for their teeth so that their smile lasts a lifetime. When you retire, it’s no different. Your dental health plays a significant impact on both your quality of life and your self-confidence.
Here are a few reasons why you can’t afford to let your dental care lapse…
A Balanced Diet
Tooth loss, gum disease, or ill-fitting dentures can make it difficult to eat. If you’re struggling to chew or bite into your favorite foods, you may find that you start to shift toward a softer, bland diet. This can seem like an easy fix, but it may cause your teeth to become even looser because the muscles and ligaments around them aren’t having to do any work. Slowly, you may even begin to lose weight or become underweight. Absorbing the proper nutrients and vitamins becomes more challenging than ever.
Strong teeth make it easier than to ensure that you’re eating appropriate food to keep up with the physical demands of ageing.
Do you wear dentures or a removable partial? You’ll want to check in with your dentist at least once a year to make sure that it’s fitting appropriately. Ill-fitting prosthetics can lead to excessive bone loss, pain, or even infections. Remember to take your denture out nightly, as bacterial infections or thrush can develop underneath.
Avoid Pneumonia or Respiratory Infections
The older that we get, the more prone we become too secondary infections such as pneumonia. Did you know that high oral bacterial levels can actually be inhaled into the lungs and possibly lead to respiratory diseases such as pneumonia? This can be especially dangerous if you’re hospitalized and require intubation. Oral bacteria can be forced down the airway and into the lungs. As such, you need to keep the “bad” bacteria at very low levels, through rigorous home care and ongoing preventive checkups with your dentist.
Active gum disease allows the infection to spread from your mouth straight into your cardiovascular system. Scientific studies have shown oral biofilm lodged in the arteries and hearts of people who have suffered from heart attacks, high blood pressure, and stroke. Plus, it heightens the body’s inflammatory response, making it more challenging to keep other health conditions in check.
If your gums bleed or are swollen, you need to seek out professional dental care. Moderate to severe gum disease isn’t something that you can treat on your own.
Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetics understand that their diet and medication can’t go overlooked. Neither can their teeth. Research shows that dental conditions such as periodontitis go hand-in-hand with blood sugar management in diabetics. One simply cannot be under control without management of the other.
Even if you are not diabetic, but suffer from hyperglycemia, this could potentially have the same impact. Be sure to make a trip to the dentist part of your comprehensive plan.
A Better Sex Life
What on earth do your teeth have to do with your libido? A lot, actually. Poor dental health (periodontal disease, namely) has been proven to show a direct correlation to the presence of erectile dysfunction (ED.) In fact, men who treat their oral infections may see a faster and better response to ED management than those who do not. If this is a part of aging that you simply aren’t looking forward to, then don’t forget about the floss!
Lack of Dental Coverage
Unfortunately, one of the biggest reasons why seniors suffer from tooth loss is because they lose their dental insurance benefits. Or, their Medicare plan just doesn’t give them the type of dental coverage that they’ve had in the past. Being on a fixed income can mean giving up things that don’t seem to be of much importance. If you’ve never had dental problems in the past, this could mean skipping your trips to the dentist. This measure could set yourself up for chronic tartar buildup, gum disease, decay, and unnecessary tooth loss.
Affordable Dental Care For Seniors
Have you been skipping dental checkups due to budget concerns?Cigna Dental Plans provides affordable senior dental plans. Find out how a Cigna Dental Savings Plan makes ongoing preventive care affordable and helps you to keep your smile healthy for life. Plus the plan offers savings on restorative treatments too.
Questions? One of our dental savings experts will be happy to answer any questions that you might have about plans in your area. Just call 844.651.6105