COVID, Your Teeth & Free Dental Care in RI
Several recent articles in the New York Times, Prevention and the Journal of Clinical Periodontology have discussed a possible link between gum disease and COVID infections. COVID long haulers are experiencing a greater incidence of gum disease and tooth loss.
It is more important than ever to take care of our mouth.
According to the CDC 96% of adults over the age of 65 have had at least one cavity. Twenty six percent of adults over age 75 have lost all of their teeth. Unfortunately, many medications taken by older people can cause dry mouth. The reduction in saliva increases the risk of cavities.
Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t pay for most dental procedures, cleanings, tooth extractions, dentures, plates or other dental items. To preserve your teeth be sure to brush and floss regularly.
If your loved one is in long term care check to be sure that they have a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and that you see evidence that they have been used. Find out when their last dental check up was and when the next one is scheduled. Check with the dentist to see if bone loss or other age related changes in the mouth may be impacting the fit of dentures.
Dental problems can lead to difficulty eating, swallowing problems, weight loss, fatigue and infection.
If you need help locating free or reduced cost dental care, or guidance on how to brush your loved one’s teeth for them please visit our Dental Services page by clicking here.