Poor dental health can affect a person’s comfort, appearance, eating, nutrition, behaviour and general health. It is also linked to multiple health risks like hearts disease and pneumonia. Every person with dementia needs an efficient and regular dental care routine, from the moment the disease is diagnosed.
People with dementia are much more susceptible to dental problems. This is caused by;
- Taking medications which reduce the production of saliva by the salivary glands. Saliva is essential to maintain a healthy mouth and to prevent the onset of dental decay.
- Having a reduced flow of saliva, even when not taking medications.
- Taking long-term, sugar based medications which can lead to tooth decay, dry mouth and difficulties using dentures.
- Changed eating habits such as the replacement of main meals with small snacks, sweets or sugared tea.
- Memory loss and other cognitive problems affects the ability maintain a dental care routine for themselves.
So what can you to do make sure that good oral hygiene is delivered and maintained? There are a number of good sources of advice available online. Alzheimer’s Society for example, has a dementia Factsheet which could help. Why not read this to get you started?