Many public health campaigns focus on improving the dental hygiene of children. However, experts say that the need to take care of the mouth only increases with age, as problems like bad breath and gingivitis can have a more significant impact on the lives of adults.
In an effort to make elderly individuals aware of the importance of oral hygiene, dental groups in New Jersey recently launched a campaign of public service announcements highlighting the importance of dental health in the aging process, according to NJ.com.
"Dental care doesn't stop when you get older," Andrew Greenberger, a periodontist participating in the campaign, told the news source. "It's more important than ever to take good care of your mouth, whether you have your natural teeth or wear partial or full dentures. Good oral health leads to good overall health, and by contrast, poor oral health can lead to serious disease."
He added that the mouth is often the first indicator of disease, and regular dental checkups may reveal serious health problems before they begin presenting symptoms elsewhere in the body.
Studies from the National Institutes of Health have found that elderly individuals are at a higher risk of gingivitis due to weakened tissue and use of dentures.