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Poor Dental Care Affects Health of Nursing Home Residents

Poor dental health, including bleeding gums and cavities have long been known to be a risk factor for general  health.  A new study finds that far too many residents of nursing homes in Georgia and across the country suffer from poor dental care that also risks their   health.

Good oral hygiene and health is essential not just for the average person but also, and especially so, for the elderly.  Gum  infections, for instance, can cause germs from the infection to travel into the person’s blood stream.  It  is well documented that   the transmission of these germs in the bloodstream can cause heart disease and also increase   the risk for other conditions.  Additionally,   cavities and other types of conditions can make it difficult for a person to chew food properly, placing him at risk of malnutrition.  This  can have serious consequences in the case of an elderly person.

The study was conducted by dental officers at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid  Services. As part of the study, the researchers  focused on the oral health of elderly residents at nursing homes certified with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid  Services.  According  to the study, as many as 20% of all elderly nursing home residents suffer from missing teeth.  While missing teeth or missing tooth fragments was the most widely reported oral health condition, many residents also reported pain and difficulty while chewing,  teeth cavities, and broken teeth.  The  study found that 8% suffered from cavities while 11% reported pain while chewing.   Other  common problems included damaged or broken dentures and gum infections, typically  accompanied by bleeding and inflammation.

If your loved one is currently a resident in a nursing home, make sure that caregivers at the facility are informed about any specifications that your loved one may have for dental care.  If  there are special toothpastes or tooth brushes that are required, make sure that staff is aware   of the need for these.  Look out for signs of dental neglect during your visits to see your loved one. These signs may include swollen or inflamed gums, tooth pain, difficulty chewing, and swollen cheeks

The  Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of elderly persons who have suffered injuries as a result of abuse or neglect in nursing homes  in the metro Atlanta region and across the  state of Georgia.  If   your loved one has suffered injuries in a nursing home, talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss his or her legal options for a claim for damages.  Talk  to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.  Initial  consultations are free.



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