As we get older, things start needing extra care, like your teeth. While just about everything needs attention eventually, your teeth are one of the most essential parts of your body to take care. Many seniors who ignore or otherwise forgo dental care and regret that decision deeply later in life. Many seniors start to develop health problems related to poor dental care.
Here’s what you should know about dental care for seniors. This information will benefit you whether you are a senior yourself or have seniors in your family.
What Happens to Seniors Without Dental Care?
The easiest way to demonstrate how important dental care can be is to explain what can happen to seniors who lack good dental hygiene. As it turns out, there’s a wide variety of serious conditions requiring dental care that seniors are prone to developing.
Our gums recede over time which is why so many seniors are afflicted with tooth sensitivity. Once your gums recede, more of each tooth unprotected by enamel is exposed.
Having sensitive teeth can be very painful when eating either hot or cold foods. This condition can have a negative impact on your quality of life. Something as ordinary as a glass of ice water can suddenly become painful to consume. Treatment options include a gum graft, root canal, or having your teeth bonded, which can all be expensive.
According to CDC.gov, “Oral cancer, cancers of the mouth (oral and pharyngeal cancers) are primarily diagnosed in older adults; median age at diagnosis is 62 years”. Although oral cancer is treatable in many cases, that treatment can cost thousands of dollars, making it difficult for some seniors to afford.
- Osteoporosis is common among seniors and, it can affect multiple parts of your body as your bones become more brittle.
- You can lose teeth due to osteoporosis and seeking professional dental care can help you avoid unnecessary damage.
- Approximately 68% of adults aged 65 years or older have gum disease and can lead to more serious issues if left untreated.
- Seniors with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease at some point in their life.
According to the CDC “nearly 1 in 5 of adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth. Complete tooth loss is twice as prevalent among adults aged 75 and older (26%) compared with adults aged 65-74 (13%). Having missing teeth or wearing dentures can affect nutrition, because people without teeth or with dentures often prefer soft, easily chewed foods instead of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables”.
What Are The Consequences of Poor Dental Care for Seniors?
Seniors with poor dental care can develop several highly unpleasant health problems. It’s important to consider dental care as an essential part of your overall health. For example, gum disease can make you more susceptible to conditions like dementia and can contribute to heart disease or lead to a stroke.
The risk of developing these conditions can be minimized through regular dental care. If you don’t think you can afford dental care, ask yourself if you can afford to have a stroke or become afflicted by dementia.
Dental Care Tips for Seniors
Knowing what can happen when you don’t take care of your teeth, here are some tips about how to take care of them.
- Regular dental checkups are the first step in taking care of your teeth and identifying any potential problem.
- Visiting your dentist once you are in pain or know you have a problem usually leads to a more costly outcome or, worse, detecting a problem like cancer when it may be too late.
- One of the most important aspects of dental care is preventative care. A qualified dentist can spot a potential concern early and recommend a plan to prevent the condition from developing.
- Another critical element to preventative proper dental care is brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly. This practice isn’t just good for your teeth but also for your pocketbook. Some of the most expensive dental problems can easily be prevented by taking time to brush your teeth twice a day. It’s best to brush your teeth sometime in the morning and again at night before bed.
- If you’re serious about taking care of your teeth, regular dental visits are necessary and brushing your teeth regularly.
What if You Can’t Pay for Dental Care?
Many seniors are aware of the importance of dental care, and yet they continue to suffer from serious dental problems because they cannot afford the costs. According to Seniorliving.org, “access to regular dental care is often difficult for seniors. Medicare doesn’t cover it. Medicaid coverage is limited. Out-of-pocket expenses can be prohibitive to those on a fixed income”.
Being unable to afford dental care can put you at serious risk of developing other serious health problems. Let’s face it; no one wants to spend a portion of their retirement savings at the dentist. Then again, no one wants to have a stroke or get dementia because they never sought treatment for gum disease.
There is a simple and effective way to pay for dental care without relying solely on your retirement savings. It’s called a life settlement. A life settlement is a transaction where you sell your life insurance policy for a lump sum cash payout while eliminating expensive premiums.
Most seniors are unaware that their life insurance policy can be their most valuable asset after their home and retirement savings. The money from a life settlement can be used for any expense, including dental care or an extended vacation to a faraway beach.
MRE Finance Can Help You Sell Your Life Insurance Policy
Don’t know how to find a buyer for your life insurance policy? No problem! That’s what we’re here for. MRE Finance can find a buyer for your policy and help you navigate the process with confidence.
Our free online life settlement calculator can provide you with an estimated value of your life insurance policy within minutes. Click https://mrefinance.com/free-life-settlement-calculator/ or pick up the phone right now and call the team at MRE Finance today! 1-800-521-0770. We’ll answer all your questions as we walk you through the life settlement process with ease!