The mouth and other parts of the oral cavity are a gateway into the body, allowing bacteria inside our bodies that can cause serious disease. This is a growing issue in senior health for seniors in nursing homes, who number about 1.3 million. One recent study published in Special Care in Dentistry in 2017 found that only 10.3% of patients admitted to a nursing home over a five-year period utilized dental services within the home at least once during their stay. One of the best-documented connections between the oral cavity, which includes the teeth, tongue, and gums, and overall health is pneumonia. A substantial body of evidence suggests that attention to oral hygiene can reduce the risk of pneumonia. This is especially well documented in the case of hospital- and nursing home-acquired pneumonia, both common forms of pneumonia that kill many people and have a large economic impact. Bacteria first make a home in the mouth and then can be aspirated or inhaled into the lungs to cause serious infections.
We at Toothbrushes for Toddlers are running a drive to collect new toothbrushes and oral care for seniors in our local community. Please consider donating and sharing this post.
Toothbrushes for Toddlers: https://t4tsmiles.org/