Dental Hygiene Essay

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The elderly community is rapidly increasing. This is one of the major causes for increased health problems and inability for these patients to comply with medical standards. Oral hygiene, among others, is one of the most disregarded. As one’s age increases dental hygiene becomes more and more important to maintain a healthy lifestyle because the elderly are more susceptible to infections and diseases of the oral cavity that can easily spread through-out the body. Oral health is much worse for elders who are in the nursing home setting as opposed to those who are not. Elders in nursing homes are most commonly less cognitive, meaning they have to rely on the nurses for almost all aspects of their care. Oral health for the residents is not seen…show more content…
If nurses have dentistry as a low priority for themselves this way of thinking can be passed on to the patients…’-Anthony Kearns” (Duffin 1). As a result of the residents relying on the nurses, oral hygiene is often not taken as seriously as it should be. Dental hygiene for residents is frequently seen as a low priority for nurses, as they themselves do not prioritize their own oral health. Nursing home nurses however are much better at advising for oral health care than regular hospital nurses are. Only twenty-eight percent of nursing home dentists are scared of the dentist, whereas forty percent of hospital nurses are scared of the dentist. Of the nurses examined in this study fifty-four percent of the nursing home nurses regularly gave oral advice to their residents, as opposed to only forty-three percent by the hospital nurses (2). Nursing home nurses also have an immense amount of knowledge on false teeth compared to the hospital nurses, who some do not even know to take them out at…show more content…
One of the many diseases caused by insufficient dental hygiene is Periodontitis. Periodontitis is inflammation of the gums. Whether or not one gets Periodontitis is usually genetically determined but poor oral health also plays a ginormous factor. Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States, and affects over fifty percent of the entire U.S population (Kishore 2). When one is diagnosed for Periodontitis the risk increases for many other diseases and problems such as heart attacks, strokes, lung infections, for pregnant women low-weight babies at birth, pancreatic cancer, and many other cancers and problems (Caruso 79). Severe Periodontal disease can lead to coronary heart disease, and even oral cancer. Oral and Pharyngeal cancers amount for five percent of all cancers, affecting thirty thousand people in the United States each year, and the risk increases with age. After one is diagnosed with oral cancer only fifty percent of all oral cancer patients will still be alive after five years (Kishore 2). Treatments for oral cancers can cause many other problems themselves. Some cancer treatments cause patients to suffer from xerostomia, swollen mouth, disfigurement, altered speech and/or chewing, loss of appetite, and make one more susceptible to infections (Kishore 2). Poor oral health often leads to bad breath, but on some occasions bad breath can indicate gum
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