Oral Healthcare and an Aging Population: What You Need to Know | Distinctive Dental Care

An Aging Population

The population in the United States is aging rapidly. The Baby Boomer generation is driving this trend as they reach age 65 and beyond. Just since 2010, the portion of the population that is age 65 or older grew by a third. More than 1.6 million people reached age 65 between 2018 and 2019 alone. The aging population must address health concerns, including oral care management.

The Aging Process and Oral Healthcare

People who reach age 65 or older are more likely to experience oral health decay and everything that comes with that. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that many people lack access to the dental healthcare that they require to remain healthy.

Although there was a significant decrease in untreated decay between 1999–2004 and 2011–2016, nearly 1 in 6 seniors had untreated decay.

Those in lower income brackets or who suffer other disadvantages are the most likely to experience tooth decay. It is a vital issue that can lead to worsening oral healthcare overall. 

Older adults are more likely to experience tooth decay than other age groups. On average, older adults possess 17 decayed or missing teeth. The likelihood and severity of decayed teeth increase in smokers and those who have not received the proper and necessary medical treatments to keep their oral health maintained. 

Older Americans, Cognitive Difficulties, and Oral Healthcare

There is a connection between cognitive challenges experienced by many older Americans and oral healthcare. Those who suffer from memory challenges might be more likely to neglect to take care of their oral healthcare in the ways that they should. They may not always remember to brush and floss their teeth regularly. Therefore, the condition of their teeth can rapidly decline due to poor hygiene practices.

It is essential for those who care for older Americans to consider the impact that cognitive difficulties might have on the oral health of those individuals. The caregiver must remind older Americans to care for their teeth properly.

Steps Towards Help

Anyone who assists with the healthcare of older Americans can work together to help create a plan for taking care of the oral health of their loved one. They can work on setting up a schedule for routine oral healthcare treatments. They can create a plan to help older Americans with the necessary brushing and flossing for healthy teeth and also establish a schedule to take them to a dental professional for needed procedures.

The demand for dental healthcare services for older Americans will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. If your loved one is approaching the age requiring this care, ensure they receive it. This aging population faces numerous healthcare concerns, but it is crucial to prioritize the health of their teeth.

If you have questions about establishing a plan to help your loved one, we are here to help. If you reach out and contact us, we will help you get the assistance required to create an oral healthcare plan for your loved one.