October Nurses' Notes

October is Dental Hygiene Month

Oral hygiene in the senior population can be a key factor in the following health conditions:

1. Heart disease - There is a connection between gum disease and heart disease

2. Pneumonia - Breathing in bacterial droplets from the mouth can make seniors more susceptible to pneumonia

3. Diabetes - High sugar levels can cause gum disease

4. Gum Disease - Can contribute to anemia, cancer and diabetes

5. Dry Mouth - Often a side effect of medications, this can cause increased infections and decay

6. Denture induced Stomatitis - Caused by poor fitting dentures, can cause inflammation of tissues.

How to improve senior dental care:

1. Brush teeth twice daily

2. Use an electric toothbrush

3. Floss at least once a day

4. Rinse with antiseptic mouth wash daily

5. Clean dentures at least once daily, and remove them for at least 4 hours each day, preferably at night

6. Drink tap water as it contains fluoride

7. Visit a dentist at least twice yearly

8. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes dairy and high fiber foods