Oral health of dependent elderly people

According to the latest study by the French Union for Oral Health, a majority of elderly people in retirement homes have poor dental health. Hence the implementation of local and regional care and prevention programmes to remedy this problem.

According to figures from the UFSBD (Union française pour la santé bucco-dentaire), three out of four elderly people admitted to a retirement home are in a poor state of oral health. 44% have at least one decayed tooth; 40% have to have a painful tooth extracted; even more alarmingly, 10% need emergency treatment. This is due to neglect of preventive oral health care, as a majority have not visited a dentist in the last five years.

The observed deterioration in oral health has serious consequences for diet and health: malnutrition, risk of infection, general worsening of health, risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, etc.

Prevention remains one of the most effective weapons against the deterioration of people's oral health over the years. Daily hygiene, which involves brushing your teeth three times a day after each meal, is the first thing you should do to preserve your teeth. Toothpastes containing fluoride are recommended as they strengthen the enamel of your teeth. You can also use a mouthwash to cleanse your mouth and remove bad bacteria that could penetrate your tooth enamel.

Eating too much sugar can also threaten the health of your teeth. Avoid drinks and foods that are too sweet (sweets, candy), as their acidity reinforces the dangerous bacteria that cause cavities, such as Streptococcus mutans. In addition, a check-up at least once a year with your dentist is highly recommended. On this occasion, he or she can check the state of your oral health and carry out treatment if necessary (scaling, onset of decay, etc.)

By adopting these gestures and habits and applying them rigorously over the years, you will preserve your dental capital, which will save you a lot of trouble later on. Don't wait for dental pain to set in before consulting your dental surgeon!

Source: UFSBD

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