Let’s face it we have all grown up with a myth or two or maybe twenty that we will go through life and for some even die believing. Some are somewhat universal no matter where on the globe you are. Others vary for many reasons for example race, culture and religion to name a few. Yet, when it comes to your health you hope myths would not be a factor or play a part; but we all know that is not true! Everyone has home remedies that have been passed down for generations from the matriarch of the family, an aunt who learned it from a friend, the uncle who always knows best & the cousin who thinks no one ever listens.
Truth is one of the most common areas where these tall tales run rampant is in regards to hygiene specifically oral hygiene. Especially, in seniors no one knows exactly why this but it is never too late to separate fact from fable. So, what are some of the most common myths among seniors and their aging mouth?
Three Common Myths Regarding You & Your Aging Mouth
Myth #1: Most Seniors Will Lose or Have Lost Their Teeth.
Fact: As told by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), guaranteed tooth loss in seniors just because they are aging is nothing but an egregious falsehood. That was given life due to the escalation of bad oral hygiene and oral diseases amid adults in the United States.
Myth #2: Bleeding Gums Are Normal at Your Age.
Fact: Truth is bleeding at any age is a cause for concern even though so many don’t worry much. Seniors bleeding gums when you brush or floss is not to be considered normal despite your age. This is just one of numerous signs of periodontal disease. Other signs include but are not limited to:
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath otherwise diagnosed as halitosis
- Sores in your mouth
- Slack or separating teeth
- Changes in the way your natural teeth fit together when you bite or any change in the fit to full or partial dentures
Myth #3: Oral Hygiene/Gum Disease Does Not Impact the Rest of Your Health
Fact: Actually, you couldn’t be more wrong in believing this. Your oral hygiene indeed impacts the rest of your health. In addition, if you do in fact have gum disease the reality is this with continual infections of the mouth bacteria is being released. This can contribute and or lead to the spread of illness in other areas of the body. Gum disease can be tied to many other health conditions plaguing seniors.
Practicing prevention is always your best defense. Regular brushing and flossing coupled with a proper diet, normal dental visits and routine teeth cleanings can better your chances at not having to deal with gum disease. So, one lesson we were all taught growing up that will remain true; is “If you want it to last take the time to take care of it; if not be prepared for it not to work as well down the line or you may even lose it.”