It is observed that Indians, in general, have a casual approach towards dental health. Due to this, there is an increase in oral problems. While oral and dental health conditions are not fatal in most cases, they do directly affect your health and quality of life.
HappyAging met Dr. Bhumika Chandarkar (Chaturvedi), a Dentist practising in Magarpatta City, Pune to understand the common dental care issues in older adults. Dr. Bhumika has done her MDS in Periodontology and Implantology. She was practicing in Mumbai before moving to Pune and has a decade’s experience in the field now.
Dr. Bhumika says that most of the older population are aware of their dental problems. However, visiting a dentist is still one of the last options for them. She stresses on regular visits to the dentist so that good oral hygiene is maintained.
Dr. Bhumika says that the geriatric population in India often ignores its dental health because they are physically, emotionally and financially dependent on others for their treatment. In such cases, dental care takes a backseat as opposed to other physical health conditions.
Also Read: Oral Hygiene in India: An Overview
Next, she talks about how improper dental health can ruin our lives. We do not look nice or smell nice. We also cannot speak properly and have difficulty in eating. There are many medical conditions that cause dental issues and dental issues that cause medical disorders, she says. Hence, it is very important to maintain good dental hygiene.
We asked Dr. Bhumika about the most common oral issues in older adults. The most common issues are bad breath and sharp edges of teeth, she says. Apart from these, food accumulation on the teeth, cavities, and spaces between teeth are also common problems she has come across in older patients. Another common issue that older adults face is the dry mouth syndrome which, in turn, leads to other numerous problems, she says.
She talks about various physical conditions like diabetes, osteoarthritis and Parkinson’s disease that cause dental issues in older adults. She stresses on the value of good cleaning and maintaining good oral hygiene.
Talking about the financial aspect of dental care in India, Dr. Bhumika says that while oral health is an important area of concern, it is still considered to be just of cosmetic value and hence is not covered by most health insurance policies. Throwing light on dental care and facilities in the Western countries, Dr. Chandrakar says that she is hopeful about insurance coverage for the same in India so that more geriatric population comes forward with dental care.
Watch the video to see what Dr. Bhumika has to say about dental issues in Indian senior citizens.
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