Aug 30, 2019

When was the last time you went to the dentist 34285? If you’re older than 80, chances are it has been way too long. A recent study from researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and the University of Hawai’i at Manoa has shown that as people age, they are statistically less and less likely to see their dentist for a checkup or even for oral health problems. Let’s take a closer look at the results of that study, and why you shouldn’t let age stop you from seeing your dentist in St. Armands.

Why do people go to the dentist less as they age?

The main reason that older adults fail to regularly visit their dentist involves the cost. Medicare does not cover dental care costs. In addition, many of the elderly lack benefits from another source, such as a job, to help pay for their dental expenses, so they simply do not attend appointments. The study showed that adults who are immigrants or racial or ethnic minorities attend dental visits even less than non-minorities. This is possibly due to them having even less access to financial resources.

Another reason might be that many people simply do not know how important it is to take care of your oral health, especially if you’re already missing teeth. However, just because your teeth aren’t all there doesn’t mean you should skip out on your checkups. Oral health is closely related to overall health, as we will explain below.

Why is it important to see the dentist even in old age?

Believe it or not, the state of your oral health can actually affect the rest of your body. If you go without brushing (your gums if you’re missing teeth) or flossing, plaque can build up and cause decay and gum disease. Gum disease has been linked to multiple other health problems, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Dementia
  • Pneumonia

By simply brushing, flossing, and making regular trips to your dentist, you can prevent so many other health issues from developing. Don’t let old age stop you from making that appointment! If cost is an issue, ask your dental office about payment plans to make expenses more manageable.

About the author

At Tarpon Shores Dental in St. Armands, FL, Dr. Shanaka Weerasooriya believes that keeping a healthy mouth is paramount to having a healthy body. He treats patients of all ages, and he even offers dentures and dental implants to replace missing teeth. If it’s been a while since your last appointment, don’t hesitate to contact him by visiting his website or by calling (941)-256-7559.