April marks the start of National Oral Health Month, a good time to check in on your teeth and gums. As we get older, our teeth and gums undergo more changes, which means they require more care. Common challenges include missing teeth, gum/periodontal disease, root decay, and dry mouth (caused by medications).
Older adults are at particularly high risk for oral health problems. Poor oral health has been linked to many health risks, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, poor nutrition, poor glycemic control in people with diabetes, and respiratory infection. Despite this growing body of evidence, the mouth seems forgotten and neglected.
Adopting healthy oral habits, like reducing your consumption of sugary foods and sweetened beverages, brushing and flossing your teeth, and regular dental check-ups can go a long way.
Limited financial resources in retirement and having dental coverage can impact whether people see a dental professional for dental care. Including costs for regular maintenance as part of your financial planning will help to ensure you have the resources needed should your dental care needs increase. Some provinces have programs to support low-income individuals and seniors.
Your oral health is essential to your overall health and should be prioritized as a part of your routine. Read more about ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy in our resources below.