Maintaining oral health and seeing a dentist regularly is important at any age! However, neglecting oral health during one’s senior years, after retirement, can have especially serious (and potentially deadly) consequences. Read on as PB Dentist Dr. Ricardo Hernandez of Pacific Beach Smile Studio explains why.
70 Percent of Aging Baby Boomers Have No Dental Insurance
According to Forbes, more than 10,000 Americans retire every single day. Retiring from the workforce often means losing dental insurance benefits. Medicare does not offer dental coverage, and it is expensive to purchase supplemental policies from private dental insurers. As a result, nearly 70 percent of retiring baby boomers go without dental insurance and stop going to the dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups.
Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are crucial for several reasons. Dental hygienists can clean the nooks and crannies between the teeth that a regular toothbrush cannot reach; this prevents bacteria from growing below the gum line. X-rays can be taken to identify problems that cannot be seen visually. Also, dental appointments are an opportune time to catch problems in their earliest stages and intervene quickly.
Consequences of Ignoring Oral Health
Poor oral hygiene can lead to the following problems:
- tooth loss
- loss of chewing ability, which can cause pain, digestion problems or malnutrition
- periodontal disease, which can cause bone loss
- chronic bad breath
- yellow, brownish-grey or dull-looking teeth
Furthermore, poor oral hygiene can raise the risk of serious systemic illnesses, as studies show a link between oral health and overall health. People that neglect their teeth and gums are at a heightened risk for the following:
- heart disease
- erectile dysfunction
- Alzheimer’s disease
Another implication of ignoring oral health and developing serious dental problems is that it can require a lot of money and time to replace or rehabilitate failing teeth. For example, placing a filling on a small cavity is easier and less expensive than later extracting a decayed tooth and replacing it with a dental implant.
Wouldn’t you rather identify and treat a potential problem in its early stages than spend thousands of dollars on extensive dental work down the road?
No Insurance? No Worries!
Dr. Hernandez welcomes patients of all ages at his full-service Pacific Beach dental practice, where he offers routine exams and cosmetic and restorative dentistry treatments. He also offers several different types of financing to accommodate different budgets. Adults past retirement age that have lost their insurance benefits can work with our team to find a financing solution that fits their needs.
Please call 858-272-6047 or email our office today to schedule an appointment with us.