Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Dental Health: Adults

Good dental health means stopping cavities and gum disease before it starts. Healthy teeth and gums help you to speak clearly, eat nutritious food and give you a nice smile. With improved dental hygiene habits, cleanings and modern dental treatments; more people are keeping their teeth longer into their adult lives.

Keeping a healthy mouth through adulthood is important because poor dental health may be connected with other health problems. Research has linked poor oral health to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pneumonia 1. As well, medications that are given to control these diseases and many others may increase your chances of getting dental disease.

A good dental hygiene routine at home  with regular visits to the dentist become even more important as you look towards retirement. Seniors with lower incomes or without dental insurance are less likely to get proper dental care. Those in long-term care facilities are also at risk of dental pain and infection because of “frailty, poor health and increased dependence on others for personal care.”1

When problems in the mouth do arise it is important to have them looked at and treated immediately by a dentist to limit tooth and gum-related pain and infection.

For more resources related to assisting caregivers of seniors with oral hygiene please visit How to Care for Residents' Teeth (PDF) and Resources for Providing Mouth Care (PDF).

Date of creation: February 11, 2013
Last modified on: November 2, 2015


1Health Canada (2008). The Effects of Oral Health on Overall Health. Retrieved from