People of all age groups should adopt a healthy dental care regimen, especially seniors. Good oral hygiene prolongs the life of the teeth and prevents issues such as cavities and gum disease. Maintaining good oral hygiene may even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Here is what you need to know about the link between oral health and Alzheimer’s.
Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is exacerbated by inflammation. As the disease progresses, inflammation makes the brain more susceptible to damage. Conditions that cause inflammation, such as gum disease, could also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Winnipeg, MB, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
In a recent study, scientists examining the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s found traces of the bacterium that causes gum disease, P. gingivalis. The bacterium can enter the bloodstream when gum disease becomes severe. While the causal link between Alzheimer’s and gum disease isn’t certain, the research does suggest seniors should try to prevent gum disease and other inflammatory conditions.
What Is Gum Disease?
There are several different types of gum disease. Gingivitis refers to general gum inflammation. It’s relatively easy to treat gingivitis, and seniors who experience mild gum inflammation should seek professional help immediately.
Periodontitis, on the other hand, is a more severe form of gum disease. When seniors develop this condition, they may experience more symptoms than just gum inflammation. After the tissues supporting the teeth become inflamed, the bacteria invade these tissues, causing periodontal pocketing and gum recession. If the infection is allowed to spread, it can cause permanent damage to the tissues and bones surrounding the gums and lead to tooth loss.
Gum disease is not the only health issue older adults are susceptible to. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly care. Winnipeg families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
The Signs of Gum Disease
To prevent gum disease from forming or worsening, it’s important for seniors and caregivers to know the signs of this health issue. Common indications include bleeding gums, unusual redness of the gums, and gum sensitivity. Other possible symptoms include pus in the mouth and persistent bad breath.
Preventing Gum Disease
Maintaining a consistent oral regimen is one of the best ways to prevent gum disease. Seniors should brush and floss daily, as it gets rid of the plaque and food particles that can damage the gums. It’s important to brush for at least two minutes and to follow appropriate flossing procedures. Seniors should also try to massage their gums, as it stimulates blood flow to the area.
Regular dentist visits are also essential. If seniors go for a dental checkup once or twice a year, their dentist will be able to catch signs of gum disease before it causes lasting damage. Dentists can also give seniors personalized oral hygiene tips.
From brushing their teeth to making healthy lifestyle choices, older adults may need help with several activities. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Winnipeg seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, call one of our professional Care Managers at (204) 489 6000 today.