Links Between Oral Health and Overall Health for Older Adults
Oral health is about more than a pretty smile. The benefits of good oral health extend to overall health, self-esteem, and quality of life. And the risks of poor oral health can be particularly severe for older adults.
This infographic, a collaboration between CareQuest Institute and the Lunder-Dineen Massachusetts General Hospital MOTIVATE Program, explains the importance of oral health for the overall health of older adults. Key points include:
- Having diabetes can raise the risk of developing gum disease (periodontitis) by 86%, and individuals with diabetes have gum disease that is more severe than for people without diabetes.
- Having gum disease significantly raises the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- The risk of developing high blood pressure is significantly higher in adults who have lost teeth and in people with gum disease.
The infographic also includes recommendations, including more communication between physicians, dentists, and patients about the connection between oral health and overall health.
You may also be interested in:
- Another Billion Reasons for a Medicare Dental Benefit, a research report that finds including periodontal treatment in Medicare has the potential to save up to $42 billion annually for patients with diabetes and heart disease.
- How Depression is Linked to Oral Health, a visual report that highlights the growing body of research about the link between mental health and oral health.
- The Association Between Accessing Dental Services and Nonventilator Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia (NVHAP) in Medicaid Beneficiaries, a journal article which finds that patients who received periodontal therapy prior to hospitalization were less likely to be diagnosed with NVHAP, a major cause of hospital-acquired infections.